Alan Harman


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

SUVs Drive Australian New-Vehicle Demand 
The Australian rush to SUVs is confirmed by a recent market poll that finds 885,000 Australians intend to buy an SUV in the next four years – up nearly 20% from year-ago.
U.K. Consumers Keep Mattresses Longer Than Cars
Data specialist CAP HPI says the length of time motorists own a car has plummeted in recent years, creating a world where consumers likely change their car more often than they obtain a mobile phone or mattress.
Mazda Expanding Thai Engine Plant
The Japanese automaker also will build a new engine machining factory with production capacity similar to that of the engine assembly plant.
Local Australian Government Orders 20 Hyundai FCEVs
The project involves French renewable-energy company Neoen and investors Megawatt Capital and electrification specialist Siemens, under a contract with the territorial government and a wind-farm company.
Jaguar Invites Would-Be XE Buyers to Drive Rivals 1
A JLR press release does not identify the XE’s competitors, but several U.K. blogs identify them as the Audi A4, BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
China’s Great Wall Gears for Second Oz Breakthrough
Great Wall first entered the Australian market in 2009 and sold about 40,000 units before it was hit with a series of setbacks. Only 11 units were sold in the first six months of this year following deliveries of 114 units for all of 2015.
Dieselgate Puts VW in Crosshairs of Australia’s Competition Commission
The ACC is charging VW and its local subsidiary in federal court with engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct in cheating on emissions tests.
Mercedes-Benz Preps Locally Built PHEV for Malaysia
Industry analyst Paul Tan sees the C350e as a likely response to the just-launched BMW 330e even though it will not be positioned as a direct rival but more as a higher-priced, value-added alternative.
Pickup Slowdown Leaves Thailand July Sales in Red
After seven months, the Thai market continued edging its way back toward positive territory, down just 0.02% at 429,265 units, with the car market off 9.2% at 153,528 and CV deliveries up 5.7% at 275,737.
‘Ute’ Moot as GM Holden Dubs Colorado ‘Pickup’ in Oz
The “ute” term, Australia’s longtime shorthand for utility vehicle, is being scrapped as GM Holden adopts the U.S. term and calls the midsize Colorado a pickup.
Holiday Season Depresses Malaysian LV Sales in July 
The Malaysian Automotive Assn. links July’s lackluster result to fewer selling days as result of the Hari Raya festive holidays and the end of Hari Raya-related demand in June.
Australian State Sets No-Emissions Goal for Capital
The state aims to replace a significant proportion of Adelaide's government fleet with electric, hydrogen, hybrid and other vehicles in the plan for the capital city of 1.25 million people over the next three years.
VW Australia, Auto Club Escalate Squabble Over Dieselgate
AAA wants local owners compensated with cash, just like U.S. buyers. VW says it is withholding entries in the club’s Best Cars awards competition because it doesn’t think it will get a fair shake.
Young U.K. Residents Not Driven to Drive, Poll Shows
The survey indicates 44% of drivers hitting the road for the first time are 25 or older and there’s been a 21% drop in 17- to-20-year-olds taking their driving test in the past nine years.
More U.K. Car Buyers Securing Credit Through Dealerships
Cars bought on finance from dealerships totaled 80,531 in June with a value of £1.53 billion.


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