Alan Harman


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

Oz Panel: Allow Used-Car Imports, Drop New-Car Tariff 
The Productivity Commission report says eliminating the 5% tariff on new imported cars once GM Holden, Ford and Toyota end local production might be justified, but it also “notes the effect on government revenue.”
GM Holden Denies Decision on Commodore Replacement 
Media speculate GM is keeping the replacement decision under its hat for fear an announcement would undermine sales of the current Commodore as would-be buyers in Australia and New Zealand await the arrival of the replacement.
Ford’s Enhanced Virtual-Reality Lab Becomes Reality 
The upgrade allows designers to perform walk-arounds of an entire virtual car and experience the model much like a consumer would at a dealership.
Toyota U.K. Taps Sun to Help Run Wales Engine Plant 
The solar panels will provide up to 10% of all the electricity required for manufacturing at the site, which makes gasoline and hybrid engines for Avensis and Auris models sold throughout Europe.
Study Offers Road Map for Fuel-Cell-Vehicle Growth 
The study says a key to hydrogen's potential success is clustering hydrogen-fuel infrastructure in urban or regional networks, limiting initial costs and creating an early market for the technology before committing to full national deployment.
U.K. Jumping Gun on Driverless Cars, Survey Shows 
SmartWitness Managing Director Simon Marsh says two-thirds of motorists believe the government is premature in allowing driverless cars on U.K. roads and more tests are needed to ensure the safety of the new technology.
U.K.’s July Car-Production Uptick Counters CV Slump 
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders CEO Mike Hawes says the U.K.’s 5 million car exports since the beginning of 2010 is the best performance of any decade.
Thailand’s Auto-Sales Juggernaut Loses More Steam 
An industry official attributes last month’s 29.2% sales skid to the psychological impact on consumer spending from the political turmoil earlier in the year and the resulting economic slowdown.
Thailand Tailing First-Time Car-Buyer Loan Deadbeats 
The government is seeking to recover the TB100,000 ($3,137) tax refunds paid to buyers on condition they keep their vehicles for at least five years.
Perodua Bids for Global Recognition With New Compact 
The automaker says the EEV can achieve up to 50.8 mpg and is packed with unique Malaysian features.
Annual U.K. Fuel Efficiency Competition Electrified 
Electric vehicles, extended-range EVs and plug-in hybrid EVs will compete in their own class alongside the more-conventional but increasingly fuel-efficient internal-combustion-engine models.
Survey: Automaker Sites’ Clout With Buyers Limited 
Market-research company Kantar says 63% of car shoppers do not visit an automaker’s website in the first 30 days of their online research, instead using content-led sites to consider options, prices and comparisons to determine the best deal.
Tesla Superchargers Extend EV’s Reach Across U.K. 
The EV maker says the new supercharger locations not only energize an important route between London and Manchester, but also allow Model S drivers to travel long distances from the Midlands to the capital.
Malaysia Car Sales Up 3.9% on Year Despite July Drop 
The Malaysian Automotive Assn. credits the higher year-to-date rise in car sales to aggressive sales campaigns.
U.K. Automotive Group Calls for Licensing Technicians 
Institute of the Motor Industry CEO Steve Nash says the government’s plan to have driverless cars on U.K. roads by 2015 makes the issue of licensing extremely urgent.
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