Alan Harman


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

Pricing, Quality Hinder Malaysian Automakers 
“Malaysia manufactured 650,000 cars, while Thailand manufactured 2 million cars and sold half of them overseas,” International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapha Mohamed tells Parliament.
U.K. Automakers Leery of Government Tax-Reform Plan 
An industry spokesman says new technologies such as plug-in hybrids will not benefit from the tax plan’s long-term incentives, threatening the ability of the U.K. and its automotive sector to meet ever-stricter CO2 targets.
Report Underscores Automotive’s Role in U.K. Economy 
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ latest sustainability report confirms manufacturing output, vehicle sales, jobs and export values grew in 2014.
Russian Car-Sales Slump Eases Slightly in June 
While deliveries last month fell 29.7% to leave the Russian market’s first-half result down 36.4% from prior-year, an industry group predicts full-year sales will finish 36% behind the 2014 total.
New Zealand June LV Sales Top 31-Year-Old Record 
June sales topped the previous best for the month of 13,157 units set in 1984 and was not far short of the best result for any month of 13,983 set in July of that year.
Affordability Driving Record Oz Sales
The SUV segment saw the most growth in June, with small cars and LCVs dominating the top five segments.
Toyota Thailand Sends First Shipment of New Hilux to Export Markets
The revamped pickup is bound for more than 100 countries.
Thai Duramax Diesels Bound for North America
Engine shipments to North America from Rayong, Thailand, will start in the third quarter. Installation in the Colorado and Canyon at GM’s plant in Wentzville, MO, will begin later this fall.
Ireland Posts Strong First Half, More of Same Expected
June car sales were down, but industry executives say that’s because buyers were waiting for second-half 2015 license plates and manufacturer incentives to come.
Ford Credit Launches Car-Sharing Program in London 
The company is working with easyCar Club in London. Renters search the easyCar Club website for a nearby car and book online. Keys are collected from the owner or are accessed from a safe, and renters return the car to the pickup location.
Honda Thailand to Unveil New-Gen CUV Prototype
Honda R&D Asia Pacific in Thailand developed the BR-V (Bold Runabout Vehicle) for the Asian market.
Honda’s Thai-Built Models Earn Environmental Honors
Honda thus far is the only automaker to win Green Label certification that indicates all of its vehicles have passed environmental regulations that cover production processes, uses and disposal as well as resource-management efficiency.
Thai Auto Sales Decline for 24th Consecutive Month 
A Toyota Thailand executive says the year-to-date sales downturn shows the economy has not fully recovered and both residential and business customers remain cautious about investing and spending. But he says the June outlook is stable.
U.K. Engine Output Slips in May
The SMMT trade group says plants are gearing up for production of new low-emission Euro 6 engines that should boost exports.
Toyota Oz Starts Production Stretch Run in Black
Profits for the year ended March 31 came even as the company incurred A$66 million of restructuring costs owing to the 2014 decision to stop Australian manufacturing and consolidate corporate operations by the end of 2017.
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