Never arriving in Malaysia? Only 59 units of DFSK Glory i-Auto sold in Indonesia in 2021
CY Foong · May 19, 2021 02:15 PM
Picture Indonesian traffic in your head and you would imagine it full of Toyotas with a smattering of Daihatsus and Suzukis as well as a sea of motorcycles. Despite that, compared with what we have in Malaysia, Indonesian buyers are a little more spoilt for choice for their cars.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy for brands to penetrate the market. Chinese brands especially have a bit of clout in the country and even though Wuling is a success story in the archipelago, the same couldn’t be said for DFSK.
When it was launched last year, the Glory i-Auto made waves across the Indonesian automotive media. It came with some modern features including voice command, a hands-free automatic tailgate, and automatic wipers.
It is powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged engine (150 PS/220 Nm) paired to a CVT automatic gearbox.
It is also priced very attractively, starting from IDR 335 million (around RM 97,000) with a 7-year warranty, one of the longest warranty offered in Indonesia. For that, the Glory i-Auto sounds like good value for money and yet, it is seen as a flop with only 59 units sold during the first four months of 2021.
According to Gaikindo, Wuling sold 1,083 units of the Almaz RS even though it was launched in March. Meanwhile, DFSK’s other Chinese rival, MG sold 194 units of the HS SUV in the first four months of the year. So, what went wrong with the Glory i-Auto?
Good feature, wrong execution
Well, let’s start with the feature, especially voice command. DFSK heavily marketed the Glory i-Auto as an intelligent car (sounds familiar?) with the voice command system, called i-Talk taking centre stage.
It is a neat feature where you can control the navigation, answer a call, change the music, and even adjust the AC with your voice. DFSK claims that there are more than 100 voice commands in its system.
However, this system can only respond to voice commands in English which isn't widely spoken in Indonesia. As a result, the feature is really a gimmick for most Indonesians. Meanwhile, the voice command in the Almaz RS supports Bahasa Indonesia, which in this case is more useful.
The rise of Wuling
Speaking of the Almaz RS, it is actually pricier than the Glory i-Auto. Starting from IDR 350 million (around RM 101,000), the Almaz RS also offers more features than the Glory i-Auto including adaptive cruise control (ACC) and autonomous emergency braking (AEB). These safety features are absent in the Glory i-Auto.
Perhaps Indonesian buyers are more willing to spend some more on more advanced tech and the Glory i-Auto simply looks like it is on the losing end despite launching earlier than the Almaz RS. It should have a head start but it just couldn’t.
It might even be the perception of Chinese cars in the archipelago and yet Wuling managed to overcome that stigma. With such poor sales, the Glory i-Auto is certainly a long way from reaching its namesake.
No Malaysian debut then?
You might remember that a Glory 580 was seen in Malaysia late last year with its launch planned for early 2021. It’s close to the middle of the year and things have been very quiet from the Malaysian distributor.
Though the Glory i-Auto was on the cards for a local launch this year, the silence from the distributor as well as the inglorious reception received in Indonesia might put those plans on hold indefinitely.