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GM in Indonesia Assembly Operation, 1953

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Written by Bill Bowman

GM in Indonesia

N.V. General Motors Java Handel Maatschappij was incorporated as a limited company under the laws of Java, Dutch East Indies on February 3, 1927. (N.V. means "Limited Company" and Handel Maatschappij means "Trading Company.")

After World War II had been declared by the United States on December 8, 1941, truck inventory, tools, machinery and equipment were requisitioned by the Netherlands East Indies Army and transferred to inland locations near Solo. Prior to the Japanese occupation of Java on March 9, 1942, the inventory, machinery, etc. were destroyed under Army orders. The operations of N.V. General Motors Java Handel Mij. were suspended on March 24, 1942. The American, British and Dutch personnel were interned and the Japanese confiscated the plant. General Motors Corporation wrote off its investment in N.V. General Motors Java Handel Mij. as of December 31, 1942.

Subsequent to World War II, the Batavia Branch of the General Motors Overseas Operations was established to maintain the continuity of General Motors operations within the Netherlands East Indies. The name was later changed to the Djakarta Branch and said branch conducted the normal operations of an assembly plant after the war and the activities of N.V. General Motors Java Handel Mij. were restricted to protecting the Corporation's pre-war assets.

At a meeting of the shareholders on April 14, 1956, it was decided to place the Company (N.V. General Motors Handel Mij. and the Djakarta Branch) in liquidation. The Branch Manager's residence, including furniture and fixtures, and the six company houses, all of the value of which were carried on the books of GM Java, were sold to the local United States Embassy. The balance of the assets on the books of GM Java and the Djakarta branch were sold to Gaja Motors, and Indonesian Company, in April 1955.

During its six years of existence (1946-1953), the Djakarta Branch produced and distributed a total of:

  • 5,306 Passenger Vehicles
  • 14,050 Commercial Vehicles
  • 3,811 Commercial Bodies
  • 1,794 Reconditioned Vehicles
  • 102 Frigidaire units
  • 202 Diesel power and marine units

The Djakarta Branch made a large contribution to the Indonesian economy by employing on average, 1,012 Indonesian nationals in its factory and office and by helping to establish a network of 41 dealers with 3,500 employees as well as stimulating the creation of service and filling stations.

PT GMBI (PT General Motor Buana Indonesia) was established with an investment of US$110 million in January 1993. It is 60% owned by General Motors and 40% owned by PT Garmak Motor of Indonesia. In 1997, it became a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Motors.

In 1994, General Motors Indonesia introduced its first Opel passenger car, the Opel Vectra, followed by the Opel Optima (Astra) and the world’s first right-hand drive Opel Blazer, in 1995. In 2002, GM Indonesia launched Chevrolet to replace the Opel brand and concentratde on Chevrolet as the core brand in Indonesia.

General Motors Indonesia assembles and markets the Chevrolet Blazer. The main office, assembly, testing, paint shop and parts distribution is located in Bekasi, West Java. It also imports built up Chevrolet vehicles from Thailand (Optra and Zafira) and Korea (Aveo and Spark). GM Indonesia, through its GM AutoWorld dealership, also distributes Chevrolet Tavera, Estate, Kalos and Captiva.

Plant capacity is 15,000 units per year.



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