Alan Harman


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

Thai Auto-Testing Center Plans Shift Out of Neutral 
Thailand’s automotive industry has campaigned for years for a regional testing center, in part to cut development costs. Vehicle assemblers now must have their products tested in India, Taiwan or Spain when a new series is launched.
Hybrids, EVs Shine in U.K. Owner-Satisfaction Survey 
The Lexus IS takes the No.1 slot with a satisfaction rating of 93.96%, ending the Skoda Yeti’s 3-year stint at the top of the survey. Three-quarters of all Lexus IS owners who responded own the eco-friendly hybrid version.
Auto Industry Seeks Deeper Dive Into Car-Theft Data 
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders calls for better tracking of how different vehicles are stolen “so that we have an accurate understanding of how criminals are operating and can develop future technology to eradicate vehicle crime.”
GM Holden Cutting More Workers as Oz Sales Slip
News Corp. Australia says production employees will be reduced to 1,260 from 1,530 and vehicle output will be reduced by 50 units to 240 a day. Parent General Motors is closing the plant in 2017.
Domestic Demand Shores Up U.K. Vehicle Production 
First-quarter car production fell 0.6% to 402,193 units as the export order book slipped 6.8% to 296,678. Domestic builds rose a healthy 22.0% to 105,515 units.
Oz Vehicle Emissions Beating Government Goals 
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries CEO Tony Weber says carbon emissions from new motor vehicles have fallen 22% over the past decade, far exceeding the government’s target of a 5% nationwide reduction by 2020.
One-off Graphic Distinguishes 6 Millionth Land Rover
The same graphic was projected on the wall of the Solihull manufacturing facility to mark the moment when the 6 millionth vehicle rolled off the production line. The vehicle was displayed at the Shanghai Auto Show.
Government Backing Helps U.K. Vehicle Fleet Go Green 
An increasing number of models qualify for a £5,000 ($7,484) plug-in subsidy, putting the government well on the way toward reaching its goal of ULEVs making up 5% of all new registrations by 2020.
Tax Changes Spark March Car-Sales Jump in Malaysia 
Vehicle prices were expected to fall after the new 6% GST replaced a 10% sales and services tax April 1, but dealers spent March offering even better deals to clear stock bought under the now-expired higher tax.
Automakers Raising Stakes in Southeast Asia Markets 
The Bangkok Post reports Ipsos Business Consulting believes entrenched Japanese automakers will face increasing competition in Southeast Asia from the likes of General Motors and new players including Volkswagen.
Secondhand Australian Auto Imports Raise Red Flags 
The federal panel’s recommendation ‟challenges the Federal Government’s stance that it has no intention of allowing Australia to become the dumping ground for other countries’ old secondhand vehicles,” an industry official says.
JLR Launches Jaguar XE Output at Historic U.K. Plant 
The start of XE production is the first step in making Solihull a dual-branded manufacturing operation. Earlier this year, JLR confirmed its breakthrough Jaguar performance CUV, the F-PACE, is to be built at the site.
U.K. Growing Hydrogen Refueling-Station Network 
The spending involves an initial network of 12 hydrogen fueling stations and a new mobile station that will be used across southern England, as well as upgrades to existing hydrogen demonstrator stations.
Australian Motoring Festival a Hit, Organizers Say
Visitors had an opportunity to get behind the wheel and drive vehicles on two test tracks, one on-road and one off-road. More than 30% of patrons took part in an interactive drive experience.
Indonesia to Tap Electric Power for National Car 
In addition to the government-sponsored EV, Malaysian national car company Proton and privately owned Adiperkasa Citra Lestari will study the possibility of a joint venture to produce an Indonesian car.
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