Alan Harman


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

Survey Warns Car Retailers Against Child Neglect 
“If one of the kids doesn’t like the shape or color of your next car, or it doesn’t come with plug-in for an iPad, then you’d better be prepared for some serious pestering,” Auto Trader spokesman Nathan Coe cautions dealers.
JLR Academy to Sharpen Focus on Employee Training
The academy will offer training for employees, whether they are new recruits or experienced employees seeking to move to the next level. This ranges from engineering skills-enhancement programs to postgraduate qualifications.
Rubber-From-Dandelion Research Gets Rolling Again 
The joint project by Sumitomo and Kultevat represents the latest attempt to manufacture rubber derived from dandelions.
Russia’s LV Sales Slump Decelerates in August 
The Association of European Businesses Automobile Manufacturers Committee says the result was an improvement on July’s 27.5% tumble and left the year-to-date total down 33.5% at 1,051,851 units.
U.K. Extends Subsidies for EV, PHEV Purchases
The subsidy reduces the cost of EVs and PHEVs with carbon-dioxide emissions of 75g/km or less by 35%, up to a maximum £5,000 ($7,695). Sales after six months of 2015 surpassed the full-year 2014 total.
New Zealand LV Sales Up Double Digits in August
New-car sales had their strongest August since 1986, jumping 9.4% year-on-year to 7,752 units. Toyota outsold second- and third-place Mazda and GM Holden combined.
Oz August Sales Rise With Another Lift From SUVs 
“Sales of SUVs increased 19.4% on August 2014 figures, with a large part of that growth in the small-SUV segment, where sales increased by 51.3%,” industry spokesman Tony Weber says.
Land Rover Researchers Envision Blindspot Removal
Feeds from the towing vehicle’s surround-camera system are combined to create live video images that make the trailer appear see-through in the vehicle’s rearview mirror.
Extended Warranties Extended to U.K. EV Owners
Extended-warranty provider Warrantywise says it is the first in the U.K. to offer aftermarket coverage for EVs with introductory prices from £55 ($87) a month.
Toyota Thailand Suspends Prius Output in Tax Tiff 
The dispute stems from a Finance Ministry investigation into whether the hybrid is a completely knocked-down vehicle totally assembled in Thailand, or is an imported car subject to a 187.8% duty.
U.K. to Test Wireless Recharging for EVs, Hybrids
The trials, expected to begin later this year, involve fitting vehicles with wireless technology and testing equipment installed underneath the road to replicate highway conditions.
July Marks 26th Straight Month of Thai Sales Slide 
After seven months, the Thai market was down 15.8% at 429,972 deliveries. Car sales were down 20.8% and the CV segment was off 12.2%.
Malaysia July Sales Down From Year-Ago, Up From June 
In line with falling sales, Malaysian production eased fractionally to 40,655 units in July from a year-earlier 41,012.
Ford Prepping Mustang for November Arrival in U.K.
Some 80% of U.K. customers are opting for the fastback body style over the convertible and 70% want the 416-hp 5.0L V-8 over the more fuel-efficient 317-hp 2.3L EcoBoost engine.
Honda Reveals BR-V Prototype at Indonesia Show
The BR-V is scheduled to be marketed first in Indonesia early next year and then in other countries. Production starts in January.
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