Alan Harman


Alan writes about the auto industry in Australia and New Zealand, as well as other Asia/Pacific and emerging markets.

GM’s New Global Car to Wear Commodore Badge in Oz 
GM Holden says customer feedback drove its decision to retain the Commodore nameplate after 2018, when the Australian manufacturing plant is shuttered and domestic production is supplanted by imports.
U.K. Car Build in 2014 Best Since 2007; CVs Off 19.7% 
China now is the U.K.’s second-largest market outside the European Union, accounting for about 12% of exports in 2014 compared with just 1% in 2007.
Mitsubishi to Inaugurate New Philippines Plant Amidst Record Market 
The Japanese automaker’s new plant, a former Ford facility, will have an initial capacity of 50,000 units annually, but can be upgraded to 100,000.
Thailand’s Auto Industry Looks to Rebound in 2015 
Toyota Thailand President Kyoichi Tanada predicts the market will recover from last year’s 33.7% plunge with sales rising 4.3% to 920,000 units, including a 7.4% climb in car deliveries to 397,200 and CVs up 2.1% to 522,800.
U.K. Charging Network Sees 1 Millionth Juice Refill 
The rapid growth in EV charging is supported by figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which show the number of plug-in cars registered in the U.K. quadrupled from 3,586 in 2013 to 14,498 last year.
Malaysia Registers Record LV Deliveries in 2014 
Malaysian Automotive Assn. President Aishah Ahmad says the good times are expected to continue this year, with the market forecast to increase 2.0% to 680,000 units.
Russia Car-Sales Slump Expected to Worsen in 2015 
Predicting a 24% decline from a 2014 result that was off 10% from the prior year, industry spokesman Joerge Schreiber says: “Nobody doubts that there will be a crisis. The question is how severe and long it will last.”
Ford Sales Forge Ahead 5% in ASEAN Region in 2015 
The blue oval’s sales got a boost from a 31% combined increase in Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.
New Mazda Thai Plant Global Skyactiv Gearbox Source 
Establishing a global production footprint is a key element of Mazda’s structural reform plan announced in February 2012, and the launch of Mazda Powertrain Mfg. operations marks another important milestone.
Analysts See Malaysia Car Market Improving in 2015 
City helps Honda become Malaysia’s biggest non-national automaker.
New Zealand 2014 Car Sales Erase 30-Year-Old Record 
The year’s five best sellers were the Toyota Corolla, followed by the Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux, Holden Commodore and Holden Colorado.
Hybrid-Vehicle Interest Picks Up Among Australians 
The brand garnering the highest portion of hybrid consideration is Volvo, and the research company says Volvo Australia should bear this in mind when deciding whether or not to import the all-new XC90 Plug-In Hybrid.
Ford Leads Way as U.K. Auto Sales Hit 10-Year High 
The Ford Fiesta was the U.K.’s top seller in 2014 with 131,254 deliveries. The Ford Focus followed with 85,140, despite being outsold in December by the third-place Vauxhall Corsa.
Oz LV Sales Top 1 Million for Third Time in 2014 
Toyota finished the year with an 18.3% market share, ahead of GM Holden, Mazda, Hyundai and Ford. The Japanese automaker led the market for a 12th straight year and 18th time overall.
Ireland Car Sales Climb 29.5% in 2014; LCVs Up 51% 
“While all of this has to be put in the context of the very low base that we are starting from, we are confident 2015 will see sales for all segments continue to grow and improve,” Society of the Irish Motor Industry Director Alan Nolan says.
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