Alan Harman


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

April Sales Keep Oz on Pace to Top 2013 Record 
Analysts had expected a slow April, but SUV sales climbed 17% year-over-year and light-commercial deliveries rose 3.4%, enough to offset a 10.3% drop in car sales.
April New Zealand’s Best LV Sales Month Since 1989 
The 4-month car-sales tally was at 30,482 units, while the CV sector was ahead 13.6% at a record 12,063.
U.K. Safety Group Warns of Dangers of Cozy Cars 
The Institute of Advanced Motorists says efforts to reduce distracted driving are being undone by the relentless pace of technology and manufacturers’ eagerness to pack more gadgets onto dashboards.
Consultant Urges Stronger Links in Supply Chain 
Emergency-logistics expert Brad Brennan says it is vital for manufacturers to safeguard processes against potential disruption to avoid costly financial and reputational penalties.
CO2 Tailpipe Emissions Sink to All-Time Low in U.K. 
The report shows that in 2014, 68.6% of new U.K. cars met or fell under the 130-g/km EU threshold, compared with just 0.9% in 2000, with buyers of these cars benefiting from the zero first-year vehicle-excise-duty rate.
Thailand Bills Toyota, Isuzu Over Taxes, Tariffs 
The government began trying to collect the money in 2012, but Toyota launched an appeal in which the two sides disagreed on the interpretation of a clause in the free-trade agreement between Thailand and Japan.
Thailand LV Sales Remain Stuck in Reverse in March 
The Bangkok Post reports the poor first-quarter result prompts the Federation of Thai Industries to back away from its January forecast of a 14.4% surge in production and instead predict output will drop for a third straight year.
Casting Plant Raises Nissan Australia’s Low Profile 
Nissan Casting Australia’s operations include high- and low-pressure diecasting, precision machining, component assembly and accessories manufacturing. The factory has been running nonstop for the past six months.
New-Look Camry Final Chapter in Toyota Oz Production  1
About 70% of Camry builds will be exported to the Middle East, New Zealand, South Pacific Islands and, for the first time, Thailand.
Thai Auto-Testing Center Plans Shift Out of Neutral  1
Thailand’s automotive industry has campaigned for years for a regional testing center, in part to cut development costs. Vehicle assemblers now must have their products tested in India, Taiwan or Spain when a new series is launched.
Hybrids, EVs Shine in U.K. Owner-Satisfaction Survey 
The Lexus IS takes the No.1 slot with a satisfaction rating of 93.96%, ending the Skoda Yeti’s 3-year stint at the top of the survey. Three-quarters of all Lexus IS owners who responded own the eco-friendly hybrid version.
Auto Industry Seeks Deeper Dive Into Car-Theft Data 
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders calls for better tracking of how different vehicles are stolen “so that we have an accurate understanding of how criminals are operating and can develop future technology to eradicate vehicle crime.”
GM Holden Cutting More Workers as Oz Sales Slip
News Corp. Australia says production employees will be reduced to 1,260 from 1,530 and vehicle output will be reduced by 50 units to 240 a day. Parent General Motors is closing the plant in 2017.
Domestic Demand Shores Up U.K. Vehicle Production 
First-quarter car production fell 0.6% to 402,193 units as the export order book slipped 6.8% to 296,678. Domestic builds rose a healthy 22.0% to 105,515 units.
Oz Vehicle Emissions Beating Government Goals 
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries CEO Tony Weber says carbon emissions from new motor vehicles have fallen 22% over the past decade, far exceeding the government’s target of a 5% nationwide reduction by 2020.
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