Alan Harman


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

August LV Sales Reflect Improving U.K. Economy 
Ford of Britain Chairman and Managing Director Mark Ovenden says the automaker is building strong sales momentum heading into September, when demand significantly increases due to the biannual registration-plate change.
New ANCAP Test Label Makes Comparisons Easier for Consumers 
The updated ANCAP logos have been issued for all new ratings published since July and will be rolled out across ANCAP and manufacturer advertising materials over the coming months.
Oz Sales Continue Decline in August 
Continued weak car demand triggered the drop in volume for the month, but industry insiders believe the market will gain traction with the coming spring.
Oz Research Takes Steps Toward Hydrogen Production 
The Australian National University says the finding opens the way for the development of biological systems powered by sunlight that could manufacture hydrogen as a fuel.
Fewer Australians Planning New-Car Purchase
More than 300,000 people have exited the market since May, Roy Morgan Research reports, a movement that could cost automakers billions.
Oz Panel: Allow Used-Car Imports, Drop New-Car Tariff 
The Productivity Commission report says eliminating the 5% tariff on new imported cars once GM Holden, Ford and Toyota end local production might be justified, but it also “notes the effect on government revenue.”
GM Holden Denies Decision on Commodore Replacement 
Media speculate GM is keeping the replacement decision under its hat for fear an announcement would undermine sales of the current Commodore as would-be buyers in Australia and New Zealand await the arrival of the replacement.
Ford’s Enhanced Virtual-Reality Lab Becomes Reality 
The upgrade allows designers to perform walk-arounds of an entire virtual car and experience the model much like a consumer would at a dealership.
Toyota U.K. Taps Sun to Help Run Wales Engine Plant 
The solar panels will provide up to 10% of all the electricity required for manufacturing at the site, which makes gasoline and hybrid engines for Avensis and Auris models sold throughout Europe.
Study Offers Road Map for Fuel-Cell-Vehicle Growth 
The study says a key to hydrogen's potential success is clustering hydrogen-fuel infrastructure in urban or regional networks, limiting initial costs and creating an early market for the technology before committing to full national deployment.
U.K. Jumping Gun on Driverless Cars, Survey Shows 
SmartWitness Managing Director Simon Marsh says two-thirds of motorists believe the government is premature in allowing driverless cars on U.K. roads and more tests are needed to ensure the safety of the new technology.
U.K.’s July Car-Production Uptick Counters CV Slump 
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders CEO Mike Hawes says the U.K.’s 5 million car exports since the beginning of 2010 is the best performance of any decade.
Thailand’s Auto-Sales Juggernaut Loses More Steam 
An industry official attributes last month’s 29.2% sales skid to the psychological impact on consumer spending from the political turmoil earlier in the year and the resulting economic slowdown.
Thailand Tailing First-Time Car-Buyer Loan Deadbeats 
The government is seeking to recover the TB100,000 ($3,137) tax refunds paid to buyers on condition they keep their vehicles for at least five years.
Perodua Bids for Global Recognition With New Compact 
The automaker says the EEV can achieve up to 50.8 mpg and is packed with unique Malaysian features.
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