Alan Harman


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

Rainy Season Doesn’t Dampen May LV Sales in Thailand 
Toyota Thailand says car sales rose in May for the first time in 36 months, growing 8.3% to 25,050 units. Commercial-vehicle deliveries were ahead 21.2% at 40,985. But after five months, car sales still were down 17.4% while CVs were up 8.5%.
Honda Indonesia Sales Surge 36% January Through May
Sales through May saw Honda raise its market share to 20.5% from 15% at the end of 2015. It credits the growth to its new BR-V, which has accounted for 30% of sales with 27,085 units since deliveries began in January.
Oz Motoring Group Wants U.S. Dieselgate Deal Parity
CEO Michael Bradley of the Australian Automotive Assn. says Australian owners caught up in the scandal deserve better from VW than they are getting, and this could start with a goodwill payment.
Make Autonomous Cars Street-Legal in Oz, Volvo Says
Volvo Australia’s Kevin McCann tells New South Wales lawmakers self-driving cars could be on the roads of the Australian state “within five years if local road laws are changed to accommodate the cars.”
Malaysiaʼs LV Sales Slide Slows
The Malaysian Automotive Assn. predicts a June sales uptick because of the Hari Raya festive season marking the end of Ramadan. It also sees new-model introductions helping dealerships.
Canadian Researchers Paring Cost of Electric Motors
The public-private collaboration has found a way to include 60% fewer permanent magnets in electric motors by substituting them with more than 100 small magnetic components, resulting in smaller, less-costly and more-efficient motors.
Canada Looks to Make Push With Aluminum Production
A newly formed alliance called ALTec Industrial Research R&D Group is consolidating research efforts in the Canadian aluminum sector.
Salt Baths Charge Up Batteries, Researchers Discover
It has the potential to improve EV-driving range to a point where the alternative-propulsion systems could be competitive with traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.
Poll: Service Key to Satisfied, Loyal Car Customers
The J.D. Power survey finds that among highly satisfied customers, 92% say they definitely will return to the same service facility for future warranty work and 83% say they definitely will return for future paid service.
Malaysia Leaving Embattled Automaker Proton Private
“Proton will remain a fully private company and its management will be fully responsible for its business decisions,” International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed says.
Oz-Designed EV Surfaces But Headed Underground
Tomcar says full-scale production of the zero-emissions Tomcar LV1 begins in November at its manufacturing facility in Melbourne, with deliveries to mining-industry customers starting in February.
Russia: Another Month, Another Double-Digit Sales Dip 
Industry spokesman Joerg Schreiber says experts generally agree Russia’s economy has bottomed out, and the outlook for the rest of the year at least is stable, and possibly will be positive moving into 2017.
Chinese Police Seize Thousands of Fake Toyota Parts 1
The seizure resulted from Toyotaʼs recent court case against two Australian retailers accused of selling counterfeit airbag components. The retailersʼ information about the manufacturer was passed on to Toyota, which worked with its Chinese subsidiary to orchestrate the raid.
Malaysian Government Back in Proton Picture With Pending Ownership Stake
If the government chooses to fully convert its newly acquired special shares, it would again become Proton’s controlling stakeholder.
Nissan Connects With Consumers Over Connectivity
Nissan’s survey finds buyers admit they can like everything about a new car – styling, price, fuel economy, how it drives – but still will walk out of the showroom if it won’t connect properly with their beloved mobile phone.


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