Alan Harman


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

JLR Enjoys Strong Return on Investment in 2016
JLR’s seventh straight year of growth saw sales rise 20% to 583,313 units, almost triple the 2009 figure. Europe accounted for nearly one-quarter of the global total, with sales up 26% at 138,695 units.
Digital Radio in 85% of New U.K. Cars Sold in 2016
The government is committed to switching off the U.K.’s analog radio signal when digital audio broadcasting coverage reaches 50% of radio listeners. The current share of all radio listening via digital platforms is 45.5%.
Russian Light-Vehicle Market’s Red Ink Fades in 2016  1
The Association of European Businesses believes the 2016 result lays the groundwork for the Russian market to end its 4-year fall, predicting 2017 sales will rise a moderate 4% to 1.5 million units.
New Zealand Sales Post Third Straight Record Year 
SUVs, with 52,913 units, took 36% of the market, while other passenger vehicles claimed 34% on 49,601 deliveries and commercial vehicles grabbed 30% on 44,059 sales.
Autonomous Cars Most Helpful to Disabled, Poll Shows 1
The Nissan survey finds 56% of U.K. drivers see autonomous vehicles being of the greatest value to the personal mobility of the disabled, while 42% cite the visually impaired and 30% believe the elderly would benefit the most.
U.K. New-Car Sales Up Fifth Straight Year in 2016  1
Ford’s Fiesta was the top-selling model for the eighth straight year with 120,525 units, well ahead of the Vauxhall Corsa (77,110) and Ford Focus (70,545). Volkswagen’s Golf tallied 69,492 deliveries, ahead of the Nissan Qashqai’s 62,692.
Oz Sets Third LV Sales Record in Four Years in 2016 
The Toyota HiLux’s 42,104 sales topped the charts to mark the first time a light-commercial vehicle led the market in Australia, and the pickup also set a record for deliveries of all-wheel-drive vehicles.
Brits Facing Big Road Tax Increases
The current U.K. tax scheme is based on carbon dioxide emissions. But as of April 1, the exemption only will apply to vehicles with no CO2 emissions – mainly electric cars.
Oz Government Fighting Emissions on Three Fronts
Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg and Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher say the proposals are designed to keep Australia in line with international vehicle markets.
Irish Car Market Posts Double-Digit Gain in 2016 
Industry insiders see 2017 sales remaining strong, despite economic uncertainty caused by the U.K.’s vote to exit the EU.
Thai Automakers Expect Market to Recover in 2017 
The Federation of Thai Industries automotive industry club believes four straight years of falling sales is nearing an end and raises its 2017 forecast 20,000 units to 800,000.
U.K. Engine Output Jumps 20% to Set November Record 
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders CEO Mike Hawes says the surge in demand for U.K.-built engines follows billions of pounds of investment in new plants to serve Britain’s booming vehicle-production sector.
Proton Predicts Better Performance in 2017
New products launched in the second half of 2016 are expected to drive higher volumes next year.
November Malaysian Auto Sales Off By Double Digits 
The Malaysian Automotive Assn. began the year predicting a full-year result down 3.5% from 2015’s record 666,674 deliveries. But November’s 12.5% drop left the market off 13.7% at 515,293 units after 11 months.
Oz Group Says Get Real With Mileage, Emissions Tests
The Australian Automobile Assn. says results of tests conducted not in laboratories but under real-world conditions suggest upcoming national emissions-reduction rules may not benefit consumers.


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