Alan Harman


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

GM Holden Launches Transition From Oz Production 
GM Holden, which will halt Australian production at the end of 2017, says one-third of the brand’s future models will be sourced from Europe.
Li-ion Battery Research Moves Ahead at Snail’s Pace 
Graduate student Evgenia Barannikova says one of the inspirations for her research is how organisms such as mollusks demonstrate remarkable control to build intricate nano- and macrostructures from inorganic materials such as calcium carbonate.
GM Predicts Marginal Recovery in 2015 Thai Market 
GM Thailand Managing Director Marcos Purty says this year’s expected volume would represent a return to normal level for car sales after sharp growth in 2012-13 as a result of government tax rebates for first-time buyers.
New Zealand Raises Stink About Pest Aboard U.S. Cars
A government environmental official says without effective methods of eradicating the stink bug, ‟non-compliant vehicles may have to be turned away” from New Zealand ports.
Ford, FCA Join 2015 U.K. Fleet Show Lineup  1
“We have sought to strike a balance between interactive fleet education, test driving and a contemporary fleet exhibition which features some of the latest developments, products and services in the fleet arena,” organizer Jerry Ramsdale says.
January LV Sales Reflect Russia’s Economic Tailspin 
The start to 2015 tracked closely to the Association of European Businesses’ Automobile Manufacturers Committee’s forecast of a 24% drop in sales to 1.89 million units in 2015.
Bernhard to Oversee GM Holden Production Phaseout 
The former GM Holden chief financial officer returns to the General Motors subsidiary ahead of the scheduled closing of its South Australian assembly plant at the end of 2017.
Ford Leads Way in U.K. Info Tech Apprenticeships 
The government will subsidize some tuition costs and fees, while Ford and other employers will provide undergraduates with an opportunity to earn and learn through a paid apprentice role with practical training.
Brake Failures Force Suzuki Global Recall 
Tests by two U.K. magazines brought the defect to light in the new Thai-built Celerio small car. Only right-hand-drive models are affected by the recall so far.
U.K. January New-Car Deliveries Hit 8-Year High 
“For 2015 we expect to see some leveling off throughout the year. Demand is back to pre-recession levels following record-breaking growth,” Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders CEO Mike Hawes says.
Mazda3 Tarnishes Toyota’s January Oz Sales Crown 
Toyota delivered 13,661 units during the month and second-place Mazda slipped to 9,006, but the Mazda3 outsold the Corolla for the title of top-selling model.
New Zealand Tallies Best-Ever January for LV Sales 
The 9,010 passenger vehicles (up 8.6%) and 2,657 commercial units (up 19%) delivered both were record results for the month.
JLR Technology Links Car Sensors to Drivers’ Senses 
The automaker says it isn’t using a generic warning icon or sound system because these take time for the driver’s brain to process. Instead, Bike Sense uses lights and sounds drivers instinctively will associate with the potential danger.
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.
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