Posted April 07, 2019 07:56:55In a major shift in the country’s automotive industry, the Indonesian government has announced that it has sold over 40,000 old Saab cars to foreign buyers in a deal worth $1 billion.
This comes as Indonesia prepares to begin a massive public auction of the countrys remaining cars, which are already worth $100 billion, a move that could be the countryís largest ever privatisation.
The sale of old Saabs, which were originally built in the 1950s and are used mainly by police, military and others, has been a hotly debated topic in Indonesia since the 1990s, when a series of crashes in the region left dozens dead.
Some have called for the government to sell the cars outright, but others argue that the public should get a share of the profits, arguing that Saabs are a symbol of the nations past glory.
The government, which has also been forced to abandon plans to sell other old Saabi cars, said it would now sell the remaining Saabs at auction to foreign investors.
It said that, with the sale of the old Saabis, the government has been able to attract foreign investors to invest in the Indonesian automotive sector, which it said has been “the engine of Indonesia’s economy”.
“Our aim is to continue investing in our automotive industry,” the Finance Minister of Indonesia, Yudhoyono, told reporters on Monday.
Yudhoys spokesman, Adnan Abi, told the AP news agency that the government had been trying to sell older Saabs for several years.
The Indonesian government is expected to announce the outcome of the auction soon, and Abi did not elaborate on the exact price.
The government has not set a date for the auction.
The announcement comes as the government’s new Finance Minister, Saima Abdul Rahman, prepares to announce a plan to sell a further 2,000 Saabs in a bid to boost the country´s car sector.
The new Finance Ministry said in March that it had acquired 4,800 Saabs that were in the market for sale and would be sold to foreigners.
Its latest plan will see the government buy back the remaining 1,400 Saabs it has already sold in auctions in the last two years, a process that will take two years.
This is a huge deal for Indonesia.
It will be the biggest single auction ever in the history of the Saab brand, the Finance Ministry’s spokesman Adnan Abdurrahman said.
The government also said it had also acquired 2,800 older Saab vans, which will be auctioned off.
The Finance Ministry also said that it was now in the process of selling 2,200 of the vehicles.
In April, the Government of Indonesia announced that its government-owned fleet would sell off 2,600 vehicles, saying that it needed the proceeds to meet its debt repayment obligations.
In June, the country also announced that a further 3,200 Saabs would be auctionned off.