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Asean and the automobile
A number of minivans vie with taxis and motorbikes in trying to inch forward through a Jakarta traffic jam. Minivans, which are more comfortable for drivers going nowhere, make up 50% of Indonesia's auto market.
In Jakarta, each car must carry at least three people to be allowed on roads during weekday rush hours. This three-in-one rule has created a new job. Meet the "jockey." Like hitchhikers in decades past, jockeys stand on the side of the road looking for a ride. Like this woman near Jakarta, they hold up a forefinger to let drivers know they would be happy to help them meet the requirement ... usually for 20,000 rupiah (about＄1.6). At the end of the ride, they use public transportation to get back to where they came from. Drivers prefer moms with kids, believing them to be less of a security risk.
The fifth floor of the Plaza Atrium, a Jakarta shopping mall, is filled with hundreds of shops selling used autoparts, everything from side-view mirrors to engines.
The Bufori MK III La Joya costs about $145,000. Bufori, founded in Australia in the 1980s, hand-crafts luxury vehicles in Kuala Lumpur. Its cars are inspired by classic designs from the 1930s. During an exhibition in Malaysia in 1992, then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad suggested to the owners that they move manufacturing to Malaysia. Eventually they did. Except for the engine, transmission and a few other parts, the cars are made by 80 craftsmen. According to Bufori founder Gerry Khouri, most of the automaker's customers are rich Middle Easterners and Chinese. Bufori plans to build 60 cars this year.
Perodua, Malaysia's second national carmaker, is a joint venture with Japan's Daihatsu Motor. In the picture, the latest Alza model takes a bow at a shopping mall Jan. 10. Prices of the new car will be 2.1% to 7.4% lower than those of the Alza's previous iteration.
This middle-class Kuala Lumpur family owns two cars that its members use to go shopping or to take out on weekend drives.
This Kuala Lumpur family takes a weekend trip to a shopping center in a Honda City, one of its two cars.
A custodian sweeps up at the Proton showroom at the company's head office. Proton was established in 1983 by longtime Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad. It was part of his Bumiputra, or son of the land, policy, a sort-of affirmative-action program for ethnic Malays. Because of protective auto market policies, Proton long owned the largest share of Malaysia's car market until a second national car maker, Perodua, in 2005 outsold it.
Two shoppers check out a car in Proton's main showroom in Kuala Lumpur.
Almost all taxis in Kuala Lumpur are Protons. Here cabbies from Budget Taxi wait to fill their tanks with natural gas. The station is managed by Petronas, Malaysia's national oil company.
KEN KOBAYASHI, Nikkei staff photographer
The annual Vegetarian Festival in Bangkok, which is known as Kin Jay in Chinese, is celebrated with colorful dragon parade in Chinatown.
KURAHIRO SEGUCHI and KONOSUKE URATA, Nikkei staff photographers
As leisure spending rises in Southeast Asia, Western theme park operators are setting up shop in the region.
KEN KOBAYASHI, Nikkei staff photographer
Bangkok is home to a host of enormous new shopping malls rising over the city's Skytrain mass-transit stations. These facilities have become popular destinations for residents of the capital, places to shop for both high-end and low-end goods, as well as to simply gather and bask in the cool of the air-conditioning. Let's have a look inside.
Nikkei staff photographer
One sign of Myanmar's transformation since 2011 has been the emergence of smartphones in Yangon. Now, like in any other major Asian city, the burg's inhabitants are constantly checking out what's happening in the palms of their hands, often with inexpensive handsets from China.
KEN KOBAYASHI, Nikkei staff photographer To keep pace with demand for air travel, the Asia-Pacific region will need to find 192,300 new pilots and 215,300 maintenance personnel over the next 20 years, according to U.S. aircraft maker Boeing. Airline companies are scrambling to expand and develop their human resources.
KURAHIRO SEGUCHI, Nikkei staff photographer Singapore is a maritime logistics hub that connects the Indian and Pacific oceans. The port's container-handling capacity in 2013 was 32.58 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs). It is the world's second largest port after Shanghai, and there are plans to increase total capacity to around 50 million TEUs.