Alan Harman


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

Thai Industry Takes Hit, But Bounce-Back Seen for Second Half 
First-half passenger-vehicle sales slid 47.8%, with the important 1-ton pickup market off 35.0%.
First-Half U.K. Car Output Up 3.5%; CVs Down 23% 
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders CEO Mike Hawes says the industry benefited in the year’s first six months from a raft of new-model introductions, with more anticipated.
Oz Students Claim EV Speed Record 
The Sunswift eVe from the University of New South Wales achieved an average speed of 62.1 mph over the 500-km run, bettering the previous world record of 45.36 mph.
U.K. Plan Aims to Grow Greener Government Fleet 
More than 150 plug-in vehicles will be added to government fleets in the first wave of the scheme. The Government Car Service will lead the way, with plans to order the first EVs in the autumn.
Fiesta Claims Title to U.K.’s All-Time Best Seller 
Ford Britain Chairman and Managing Director Mark Ovenden credits the Fiesta’s success to its style, value, driving dynamics and significant technologies including the 1.0L EcoBoost engine.
Malaysian Auto Sales Growth Forecast 
The Malaysian Automotive Assn. says the economy is expected to maintain growth in line with a government forecast of an increase between 5% and 5.5% for the year.
Proton Seeks Government Funding to Back New-Model Development 
Proton has been using its own money for R&D, but the government should reimburse it through special incentives, a top official believes.
New Mobile App Streamlines Dealership Management 
Dealer Drive’s developers say the app allows manufacturers to measure marketing-campaign effectiveness, monitor the performance of the entire dealer network and support them with marketing, sales and staff-training initiatives.
Battery Questions Complicate U.K. Used-EV Market 
With no specific short-term battery loans or warranties available and automakers saying only the battery will last the life of the car, dealers worry about harm to their reputations and relationships with customers should something go wrong.
New Zealand Mandates ESC for Light Vehicles 
In signing the rule requiring ESC, Associate Transport Minister Michael Woodhouse says many road-safety experts describe it as the most significant advance in vehicle safety since the seatbelt.
Sales in Ireland Top Entire-2013 Levels on Hot Start to July
In the first week of the new license plate indicating the car was sold in the second half of the year, 9,207 new cars were delivered, up 79% from last year.
Auto Sector Key Driver of U.K. Economy, Industry Says 
Industry representatives say analysts suggest that by 2017 the U.K. could be building more than 2 million cars a year, breaking a record that has stood for more than 40 years.
June Sales Skid; Russia Full-Year Forecast Cut Again 
Russia’s 17.3% sales drop last month prompted an industry organization to scale back its 2014 projection 12% from the prior year.
Nissan Builds New-Gen Pickup at Second Thailand Plant 
The new plant will increase Nissan’s annual production capacity in Thailand to 370,000 units, a far cry from its arrival in 1963 when four cars a day rolled off the production line.
Mitsubishi Makes Another Move to Solidify Production Base in Philippines 
Purchase of a controlling stake in a local transmission operation follows on the heels of a deal to acquire former Ford plants in March.
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