Alan Harman


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

Auto Sector Key Driver of U.K. Economy, Industry Says 
Industry representatives say analysts suggest that by 2017 the U.K. could be building more than 2 million cars a year, breaking a record that has stood for more than 40 years.
June Sales Skid; Russia Full-Year Forecast Cut Again 
Russia’s 17.3% sales drop last month prompted an industry organization to scale back its 2014 projection 12% from the prior year.
Nissan Builds New-Gen Pickup at Second Thailand Plant 
The new plant will increase Nissan’s annual production capacity in Thailand to 370,000 units, a far cry from its arrival in 1963 when four cars a day rolled off the production line.
Mitsubishi Makes Another Move to Solidify Production Base in Philippines 
Purchase of a controlling stake in a local transmission operation follows on the heels of a deal to acquire former Ford plants in March.
Materials Research Takes Lightweighting to New Level 
Researchers say a material with the same weight and density as aerogel, but with 10,000 times more stiffness, offers promise for the automotive-parts industry where lightweight, high-stiffness and high-strength materials are needed.
Malaysia Reviewing Latest Green-Vehicle Proposal
The Malaysian Automotive Institute and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority are assessing the financial strength of two companies wanting to build energy-efficient vehicles.
Oz Government Agency Proposes LV Emissions Standards 
An industry group says the Climate Change Authority doesn’t adequately recognize the fact consumer preference in Australia contributes heavily to motor-vehicle emissions levels.
EVs Generating Little Interest Among U.K. Drivers
Fewer than 1% of U.K. drivers own an electric car or van.
Oz First-Half Sales Robust But Dip Year-on-Year 
First-half deliveries were about 100,000 units shy of the record set in the 2012-2013 financial year, resulting in a 2.4% decline from that total.
Toyota Australia Attacks ‘Inefficient’ Luxury-Car Tax 
Toyota Australia sales and marketing chief Tony Cramb says the tax should be abolished, especially because there is no equivalent tax on items such as antiques, yachts, motor boats and jewelry.
U.K. Government Lends Hand to Auto-Parts Producers 
The Tooling Funding Program is designed to help components manufacturers that otherwise would fail to acquire financing.
Analyst Sees Indonesia Auto Sales Topping Thailand’s 
Frost & Sullivan’s Masaki Honda estimates Indonesian sales will increase 6.5% to 1.23 million units this year, and estimates current market leader Thailand’s deliveries will fall 11.7% to 1.18 million.
Irish Light-Vehicle Sales Post Solid First-Half Gains 
The industry’s prediction it would see its best July since 2008 was borne out Tuesday, when 4,264 new cars were registered on the first day of the new “142” registration plate. The total was more than double the 1,924 cars registered July 1, 2013.
Mercedes Hybrid Goes From Africa to U.K. on One Tank
The E300 BlueTec Hybrid averaged 73.6 mpg on its 27-hour journey.
New Zealand Market Posts Solid June 
Best-ever monthly commercial-vehicle sales led to a double-digit increase in overall sales, as a strong local currency and rising consumer confidence helped drive demand.
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