Indonesia's new-vehicle sales plunged 49% in the year's first half to 149,634 units, pushed downward by high fuel prices and interest rates.

The Association of Indonesian Automotive Industries says the first-half total fell from 295,779 vehicles year-ago.

It says monthly sales ranged between 22,000-26,000 units, a major decrease from 49,000-52,000 monthly deliveries in like-2005.

PT Astra International TbK, which assembles Daihatsu, Isuzu, Nissan Diesel, Toyota and Peugeot brands, continues to hold the largest share of the market at 58%.

Analysts believe the significant drop in sales is due to dramatic fuel-price increases last October and high interest rates, as 80% of vehicle purchases in Indonesia are financed through credit, The Jakarta Post newspaper reports