Alan Harman


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

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.
Materials Research Takes Lightweighting to New Level 
Researchers say a material with the same weight and density as aerogel, but with 10,000 times more stiffness, offers promise for the automotive-parts industry where lightweight, high-stiffness and high-strength materials are needed.
Malaysia Reviewing Latest Green-Vehicle Proposal
The Malaysian Automotive Institute and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority are assessing the financial strength of two companies wanting to build energy-efficient vehicles.
Oz Government Agency Proposes LV Emissions Standards 
An industry group says the Climate Change Authority doesn’t adequately recognize the fact consumer preference in Australia contributes heavily to motor-vehicle emissions levels.
EVs Generating Little Interest Among U.K. Drivers
Fewer than 1% of U.K. drivers own an electric car or van.
Oz First-Half Sales Robust But Dip Year-on-Year 
First-half deliveries were about 100,000 units shy of the record set in the 2012-2013 financial year, resulting in a 2.4% decline from that total.
Toyota Australia Attacks ‘Inefficient’ Luxury-Car Tax 
Toyota Australia sales and marketing chief Tony Cramb says the tax should be abolished, especially because there is no equivalent tax on items such as antiques, yachts, motor boats and jewelry.
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