Alan Harman


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

Toyota U.K. Pulls Off Rare Twin Launch
Ramp-up of revamped Avensis and Auris models at the Burnaston factory went from zero to 800 units daily in just 10 days.
May Brings No Relief to Russia’s Anemic Auto Sales 
Industry spokesman Joerg Schreiber notes “ general customer activity is undergoing a mild reactivation, thanks to a gradual reduction in bank interest rates and new-car prices supported by a more robust ruble exchange rate.”
Annual U.K. Auto Dealer Conference Around Corner
James Baggott, managing director-Car Dealer magazine, says U.K. car-retailing professionals can take part in an event on par with the National Automobile Dealers Assn. in the U.S.
All-New Sports Car to Revive U.K.’s TVR Marque 
The company says the car will feature the traditional TVR DNA of a front engine with rear-wheel drive and manual transmission, powered by a normally aspirated, dry-sumped V-8 engine developed and engineered by Cosworth.
Ford Ranger New Zealand’s Top Seller in Flat May 
Motor Industry Assn. CEO David Crawford says the four best-selling models in May were light-commercial vehicles, with the top-selling car, the Toyota Corolla, ranking fifth with 310.
SUV, Light-Commercial Sales Shore Up Oz May Result 
SUVs were popular among private buyers in particular, as they boosted May sales 10.1% year-over-year. Business and government purchases of SUVs remained steady. After five months, SUV sales were up 13.5% at 157,415 units.
Trade Show to Tout U.K. Auto Suppliers, Aftermarket
Automechanika Birmingham will showcase all elements of the U.K. automotive supply chain and aftermarket to national and international buyers.
Critics Want to Put Brakes on Oz Crash-Test Program 
The debate began when Fairfax Media’s website suggested the Australasian New Car Assessment Program might not be needed as production of local models by GM Holden, Toyota and Ford is ending by 2017.
Ford of Britain Names Barratt to Leadership Post
Andy Barratt succeeds Mark Ovenden, who has been named president and CEO of Ford Sollers, the joint venture between Ford and JSC Sollers in Russia.
London Gets New Auto Show 
Along with new cars, the show will feature exhibits designed around the latest technologies and developments, from hybrid and electric to driverless vehicles. Seminars will allow showgoers to interact with industry and government leaders.
U.K. Research Firm Unveils Virtual Vehicle Simulator 
Ansible Motion focuses on advanced simulators that can be used to validate safety systems, sign off vehicle settings and in motorsport to define aerodynamic, gearbox and suspension settings and predict a lap time before creating an actual car.
Slump in U.K. Export Build Continues in April 
Production for the home market climbed 11.1% last month, raising the 4-month total 19.4% to 135,445 units, but export orders fell 7.6% to leave output through April down 7.0% at 395,060.
Toyota Knocked Off Pickup Perch as Thai Market Continues Slide 
Release of the eighth-gen Hilux should get Toyota pickup sales moving again, but analysts say there’s little reason for near-term optimism about the market overall.
Malaysia’s Perodua on Track for 1 Million Myvi Sales 
The Myvi is based on the Daihatsu Boon, and came about from Perodua’s collaboration with Daihatsu. The Toyota affiliate also is working with Perodua on development of the Malaysian automaker’s first sedan.
Malaysian New-Vehicle Market Stumbles in April 
Malaysian domestic-car sales are expected to remain weak for the next three months before making a recovery in the third quarter.
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