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Jakarta has excess of taxi supply.

Taxi Business Boosts Sales of Passenger Cars

Taxi operators regularly replace their taxi cabs to remain competitive in providing convenience for passengers. Therefore, demand for sedan cars to be used as taxi cabs has continued to scale up. Generally replacement is made every five years.

Taxi operators generally cooperate with leasing companies in the procurement of sedan cars to be converted into taxies. For example, PT. Express Transindo, the operator of Express Taksi, cooperates with Astra Credit Company (ACC), which offers car credits with installments over a period of 3 years.

The taxi cab population in Indonesia is dominated by Toyota cars assembled in the country by Toyota Astra Motor (TAM). Its Toyota types of Soluna and Limo account for 95% of the total number of taxi cabs in the regular class in the country. Toyota car sales for taxies average 5,000 units per year with the Blue Bird Group accounting for 75%.

In 2007, Blue Bird ordered 2,000 units of Toyota Limo from TAM with an investment of Rp260 billion. Toyota Limo is a variant of Toyota Vios specially produced for taxi cabs at a price of Rp130 million--Rp135 million per unit.

TAM produces Toyota Limo only to be used for taxi cabs. It has significant differences from Toyota Vios in specification and features. Other than the Blue Bird Group other taxi operators using Toyota Limo are Express Taksi, Dian Taksi, and Centris.

Based on Gaikindo members, supplies of sedan cars from car factories to taxi operators in the first five months of 2007, totaled 743 units. The largest demand was recorded in May reaching 316 units, up from 170 units a month in previous months.

One of the producers of sedan cars for taxies is Proton from Malaysia, dominating supplies in the first five months of 2007. Proton cars accounted for 546 units of the total supplies of 743 units in the period.

In the beginning Proton was known more as sedan car for taxies used mainly by taxi operator Putra. Now, however, Proton sole agent (ATPM) is developing its image as the producer of passenger cars launching new models of Savvy and Gen2.

The development of the image is important for Proton as Proton hit the Indonesian market for the first time in the 1990s as taxi cabs with the model of Saga and then with the model of Wira in 2006. Generally taxi cabs use 1,500 cc engines, which is more efficient in fuel. Car makers, usually use less specifications and features for taxi cabs.

A number of car sole agents, previously received only small orders from taxi operators have made progress in business such as Kia Rio. However, Hyundai and Nissan, two producers of passenger cars, partly sold for taxies, are still far lagging behind Toyota. Hyundai produces Excel and Accent models for taxies and Nissan has the model of Cedric for premium taxies and Sunny Neo for regular taxies.

In 2008, General Motor Autoworld Indonesia (GMAI) as the sole agent for Chevrolet sold 380 units of cars for taxies or 89% of the total 425 unit sales of Chevrolet Kalos that year. In 2009, GMAI is set to increase sales cars for taxies to 900 nits.

Tight competition among taxi operators

Taxi transport service is vital in large cities and business centers like Jakarta and Surabaya where the mobility of the people is higher.

The market for taxi service has been saturated in Jakarta. The city already has too many taxi operators with large fleets. The market, however. Is always dominated by a few big players forcing smaller players to move away from the city proper to suburban areas or satellite cities like Depok, Bekasi and Tangerang.

According to the head of the Jakarta Transport Service Office Nurachman, taxies serve only 0.5% of potential passengers. The market is heavily dominated by city buses and other means of public transport.

Jakarta already has too many taxies. Operators said in order to save the business, the government should stop issuing new license for operation in the Greater Jakarta areas including Tangerang, Depok, and Bekasi for at least five years to come to create balance between the number of users and taxi cabs. If the number of passengers increases taxi operators could operate at higher capacity utilization allowing them to cut tariffs for the benefit of the users.

Currently, there are two groups of taxi operators--one offering lower tariffs and another higher tariff to follow the increase in prices.

License still available

Despite the tight competition, new operators still have the opportunity to secure the license in Jakarta. The Jakarta city administration still allows new operators but they are required to use gas fuel. Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo said in the future all taxies in Jakarta will use gas fuel. Based on data at the Jakarta Transport Service Office, only 3% or 606 taxi cabs operating in Jakarta have used gas fuel. The rest still use oil fuels (BBM).

In addition, new taxi operators must operate in the premium class using luxurious taxi cabs.

According to the Jakarta branch of Organda, the Greater Jakarta (Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi) had 32,698 units of taxi in 2008. Jakarta proper alone had 16,045 units with 44 operators. The remaining 16,653 units operate in Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi.

Among major operators in Jakarta include Blue Bird Group, Pusaka Group and Express. They have succeeded in developing good reputation both in service and security that many consumers would not go by other taxies.

The Blue Bird Group operates regular taxies Blue Bird, Morante, Cendrawasih, and Lintas Buana with total fleet of 13,500 units. The Blue Bird Group has subsidiary the Pusaka Group which operates regular taxies Pusaka Sentra, Pusaka Nuri, Pusaka Biru, and Pusaka Prima Transport. In addition to regular taxies the Blue Bird group operates premium taxies Silver Bird Executive Taxi.

Express Taksi which has a fleet of 3,400 units began operation in regular segment. Later it serves the high class segment or premium taxi of Tiara Express.

Other operators include Putra, which is a rejuvenation of Citra, Kosti, Sri Medali, Dian, Gamya, Family, etc.

Premium taxies

Growing market of high class taxi service in Jakarta has encouraged taxi operators to venture in the high class market segment. The Blue Bird Group, the country's largest taxi operator, is the pioneer in the operation of luxurious taxies called executive taxies with its Silver Bird taxies several years back.

The Blue Bird Group has a fleet of 740 units of Silver Bird taxi. The fleet consists of three brands of cars Mercy series C, Toyota Crown, and Nissan Cedric. The main facility offered is GPS, which is an important device for the security of the passengers that could monitor the location of the taxi.

The tariff charged by Silver Bird for the first kilometer is Rp10,000 and Rp5,000 for the following kilometers. The consumers of Silver Bird taxies are charged with a waiting fee of Rp55,000 per hour with Rp25,000 fees for taxi call service. In 2007, the Blue Bird Group replaced its executive taxies of Silver Bird with 300 units of Mercedes-Benz C-Class 230 in the first phase.

In July, 2008, PT Kharisma Muda launched MaxiCab taxi service using VW Caravelle car. MaxiCab operates 11 units of VW Caravelle in the first year of its operation and the number was raised to 200 units later that year according to its license.

The MaxiCab taxies known with white paint use environmentally friendly gas fuel and has the GPS facility. The operator, however, has not succeeded in securing the license to operate at airport and a number of luxurious hotels.

PT. Express Transindo is a new operator of premium taxies with the name of Tiara Ekspress. It uses the luxurious car of Toyota Alphard of AS 2.4 L type with LPG fuel, which is a clean fuel. The taxi cab has a carrying capacity of 6 passengers. It is eyeing the high class segment of the market including business leaders, and foreign tourists who are more concerned with convenience and security. Tiara Express has he facilities of audio video, GPS and WiFi, needed by highly mobile passengers.

In the first year of its operation, Tiara Express had a fleet of 45 units. The number is to be increased to 100 units this year. The operator charges a high flag fall tariff of Rp10,000 for the first kilometer and Rp5,000 for the following kilometer. There is no charge for canceling order and neither is there minimum fare, but it also charges waiting fee of Rp50,000 per hour.

Payment could be manual and through electronic payment swipe machine allowing passenger to use credit card. Tiara Express cooperates with Bank DKI in the use of the electronic payment system using JacCard Prepaid Card. Tiara Express taxies take passengers only through order.

The Lorena Group owned by the Soerbakti family, which has been engaged in the transport business for 70 years mainly in inter city bus operation, plans to expand operation to taxi service business. Lorena plans to invest Rp400 billion to buy 400 cars to be operated as tourist taxies in Jakarta. Lorena sees good prospects in tourist taxi business in Jakarta.

Blue Bird Group the largest

The embryo of the Blue Bird group is Chandra Taksi established in 1972 by Mutiara Djokosoetono,SH. Chandra Taksi operated car rental business especially for journalists and hotel guests needing transport to airports or from airport to hotels. It started with 25 units of taxies. Chandra Taksi was later known as Blue Bird Group, operating Golden Bird taxies.

The Blue Bird Group now has 20 subsidiaries operating not only in transport service but also in the manufacturing, property and support service sectors. In the transport service sector, the Blue Bird Group has acquired a number of taxi operators, some of them under the Pusaka Group.

In the transport service business, the Blue Bird group has a number of subsidiaries with different market targets. They use different names and logos such as the Pusaka Group, which includes Pusaka Satria, Pusaka Nuri, Pusaka Biru, Pusaka Citra, Pusaka Lintas, Pusaka Prima, Morante Jaya, Lintas Buana, Cendrawasih, and Blue Bird. The group has to split itself into a number of units because of the regulation limiting the number of taxies allowed for an operator. In the executive segment, Blue Bird provides Silver Bird with taxies in black color. Unlike regular taxies in blue color, executive taxies offer superiority in convenience, comfort, and safety. The cars used by Silver Bird are luxurious ones including Mercy series C, Toyota Crown, and Nissan Cedric.

The cars used by the group for passenger transport are the limousine category known as Golden Bird. The types of the cars include Toyota Twin Cam, Opel Vectra, Corona Absolute, Volvo 740, 960, Mercedes C180, E220, E230 and New Eyes, and luxurious vans of Mazda E2000. Unlike the two previous categories, the taxies have black color police plate generally used for private cars. The targets of the taxies are high class consumers and VIP. Golden Bird taxies are marked with the label/logo of Blue Bird in the windshield.

The taxies are rented to individuals or companies for short or long terms. The Blue Bird Group also offers mass transport facilities like buses called Big Bird with operating areas of Java, Bali, and Sumatra. Big Bird also serves transport for school students such as British International School, Jakarta Japanese School, Korean International School and German International School.

Blue Bird has expanded not only in Jakarta but also in other large cities in the countries. In Bali, it has operated since 1989 with its fleet of Golden Bird, followed with regular taxies, Bali Taksi, in 1994. Later in 1996 in Lombok with Lombok Taksi and in 1997 in Surabaya with Surabaya Taksi.

In 2005, Blue Bird entered the city of Bandung with a fleet of 75 regular taxies. It has also expanded operation to Solo, Semarang and as far as Manado in North Sulawesi.

Currently the Blue Bird group has a fleet of 13,500 taxies altogether all over Indonesia. In the Greater Jakarta alone it has 11,000 units or the largest, followed by a fleet of 1,500 units in Surabaya, 500 units in Bali, 270 units in Lombok, 200 units in Bandung and 100 units in Cilegon (Banten).

Taksi Blue Bird is the largest contributors to the income of the group accounting for 70% of its total income. The second largest contributor is Silver Bird with its fleet of 740 units including 300 units of Mercedes-Benz series C-Class.

In 2007, the Blue Bird Group began replacing the old car of Executive taxi cabs of Silver Bird with 300 units of Mercedes-Benz C-Class 230 with an initial investment of Rp130 billion. The cars used by Silver Bird are equipped with sophisticated features of ABS, ESP, BAS, multi airbags with transmission of 7G-Tronic. The use of Mercedes-Benz C-Class for premium class is in line with the BBG's plan to renew the fleet of 740 units.

The Blue Bird group is an operator of taxies adopting reservation system utilizing SMS with which passenger could make order. The group has developed a reservation system using the technology of Global Positioning System (GPS) and Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) fitted in the taxies of Silver Bird and Pusaka Group.

The Blue Bird group cooperates with Bank Mandiri and other banks to provide Electronic Data Capture (EDC) service. With the EDC service users, who are customers of Bank Mandiri or holders of credit cards, both Visa and Master Card, will need only to rub their cards to pay the taxi fare. In the frist phase this service is implemented only in 30 units of Mercedes Benz Silver Bird taxi serving executives. Later the number will be increased to 300 taxies of Silver Bird and 16,000 taxies of Blue Bird Group by phases.

The Blue Bird group has also expanded operation to cargo transport. It has provided Container truck service named Iron Bird and Angkutan Kontenindo Antarmoda. It has also built Lombok Holiday Resort, and established automotive manufacturing companies like Everlite, Restu Ibu, Ziegler Indonesia, and other service companies like Jasa Alam, Gas Biru, and Ritra Konnas Freight Centre.
Number of taxi cabs in Greater Jakarta, 2008

Description Number of units

Operators 44 companies
Taxies operating in Jakarta 16,045 units
Taxies operating outside Jakarta 16,653 units
(Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi)
Total 32,698

Source: Organda

10 largest taxies operating in Jabodetabek, 2008

 Number of fleet
Name of taxies (units)

President Taxi 6,759
Dian Taksi 1,500
Kosti Jaya 1,350.
Blue Bird 1.300
Koperasi Taxi Indonesia (KTI) 1,049
Express Taxi 1,000
Metropolitan 700
Lintas Buana 650
Morante Jaya 500
Gamya 482
Cendrawasih 450
Golden taxi 402
Sub total 16,142

Premium taxi:
Silver Bird 740
Tiara Express 100
Maxicab 200
Sub total 1,040

Other regular taxi (more than 30 15,516

Total 32,698

Source: Organda/Dataconsult

Blue Bird Group and subsidiaries

 Year of
Name of companies Business line Establishment

Blue Bird Taxi 1972
Golden Bird Limousine 1972
Big Bird Charter Bus 1979
Golden Bird Bali Limousine 1989
Gamya Taxi 1990
Silver Bird Executive Taxi 1993
Bali Taksi Taxi 1994
Morante Jaya Taxi 1995
Lombok Taksi Taxi 1996
Surabaya Taksi Taxi 1997
Cendrawasih Taxi 1997
Pusaka Nuri Taxi 1998
Lintas Buana Taxi 2000
Pusaka Satria Taxi 2000

Land transportasion--non
Iron Bird Container Truck 1992
Angkutan Kontenindo Antarmoda Container Truck 1993
Everlite Automobile lights 1975
Restu Ibu Bus Body building 1981
Ziegler Indonesia Fire & Rescue truck 1990
Holiday Resort Lombok Hotel 1991
Support service:
Jasa Alam Petrol & gas station 1987
Gas Biru CNG converter 1987
Ritra Konnas Freight Centre Container Depot & 1996
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Title Annotation:INDUSTRY
Publication:Indonesian Commercial Newsletter
Geographic Code:9INDO
Date:Jan 1, 2009
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