Alan Harman

Alan
Harman
Correspondent,
WardsAuto

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

Articles
GM Names Thai National to Head Operation
Amnat Saengjan will take over as vice president-manufacturing at GM Thailand effective April 1 and will be responsible for both the GM Thailand and GM Powertrain Thailand plant operations.
New Life for Oz Post-Auto Making Transition Fund 
The government says it still will realize most of the savings it wanted to make from the program, based on production volumes as GM Holden, Toyota and Ford wind down Australian operations.
Automakers Remain Pessimistic as Russian Sales Continue Slide 
Industry insiders expect a difficult next few months, as the market shows little signs of near-term recovery. The recent stabilization of the ruble is raising hopes of longer-term improvement, though.
GM Holden Has Couples Stop (and Go) in Name of Love 
Using the Holden Cruze’s on-board technology, couples faced challenges including navigating around Sydney and completing a reverse park, with all the chemistry caught on camera.
Utes Leave Cars in Dust as Oz Sales Grow in February 
A 23.8% spike in SUV deliveries offset a 6.6% drop in the car segment, raising year-to-date sales 2% to 172,540 units.
New Zealand February Light-Vehicle Sales Stay Hot 
Light-vehicle sales rose 8% year-on-year to 9,877 units, a February plateau last reached in 1984.
U.K. Ups Spending on EV Charging Infrastructure, R&D 
Nearly half of the new funding is earmarked for continuing an electric-vehicle home-charging installation program that gives drivers a 75% grant of up to £700.
Market Leader Toyota Australia Sales Hit 6 Million 
Australians have bought 3.5 million Toyota cars, more than 1.7 million light-commercial vehicles and 830,000 SUVs since the automaker launched sales in 1958. Toyota estimates about 62% of the vehicles still are registered.
Thai Automakers Predict Rebound in 2015 Production 
The industry is targeting a 14.4% year-on-year improvement from 2014, when output fell short of projections amid political turmoil and economic uncertainty.
Suzuki U.K. Pulls Out Stops on Celerio Brake Fix 
After Autocar magazine reported the failure of its emergency-braking test from high speed, Suzuki issued a safety recall, saying the problem was a flaw in the brake-pedal release mechanism.
Fuel Efficiency Steers Oz Buyers to Distinct Segments 
The research company says nearly 80% of Australian motorists – 87% of car drivers, 73% of large-SUV drivers – consider fuel efficiency to be more important in a vehicle than high performance.
Thai Brake Suppliers Eye Advanced Technology, Broader Reach 
Suppliers are told to shift away from price competition and pay more attention to R&D, at the ASEAN’s inaugural brake-systems conference in Bangkok.
BMW Eager to Develop Thai Electric-Vehicle Market 
The German automaker imports two electric vehicles into Thailand, the ’14 BMW i8 and the ’15 BMW i3. It says tax incentives and infrastructure development would make it possible for all local automakers to build EVs.
Seven Automakers Now Behind U.K.’s ULEV Campaign
Between them, the seven Go Ultra Low manufacturing members boast 15 ULEVs across a variety of models, from family cars and vans to SUVs and high-performance sports cars.
U.K. Engine Production Shows 0.2% January Uptick 
Output for the U.K. market climbed 11.2% last month to 78,960 units, more than enough to offset a 5.6% drop in export demand to 127,726.
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