Alan Harman


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

Report Touts Bigger Oz Role in Intelligent Mobility
The Australian Driverless Vehicle initiative is proposing a 5-year funding and incentive package focused on research, development, demonstration and deployment similar to the U.K.’s £100 million Intelligent Mobility Fund.
Skoda Yetis Join Search for Namesake Creature
A fleet of the Czech Republic-made compact SUVs will take searchers to a wildlife sanctuary in the Himalayan mountains of Bhutan where the yeti, also called the Abominable Snowman, is thought to reside.
Malaysian Automaker Proton’s Owner Weighing Bids
A stake of as much as 51% reportedly will be sold by Proton, which won a 1.5 billion ringgit loan from the Malaysian government on condition it hooks up with a foreign partner.
Singapore Car-Sharing Program to Deploy Fleet of EVs
The Economic Development Board says by 2020, drivers will be able to share 1,000 EVs and 2,000 charging points across the island state.
Nissan to Unleash High-Powered Nismo in Australia
The ʾ17 Nissan GT-R Nismo features a version of the VR38DETT engine making 591 hp and 481 lb-ft. of torque, and uses the same pair of high-flow, large-diameter turbochargers as the GT-R Nismo GT3 race car.
Russia Sales Remain Down, But Incentives Offer Near-Term Hope 
To-date volume topped the 1 million mark in September, surpassing the most pessimistic forecasts for the year.
Ford Ends Manufacturing in Australia; GM Holden Builds Last Cruze
The end of production for Ford Australia also marks the demise of the Falcon nameplate. “It just doesn't seem right,” one observer tells The Age newspaper.
September Sales Point New Zealand Toward Record Year 
“Year-to-date, the market is up 7.6% (to 107,122 sales) on this time in 2015 and heading for another record year,” Motor Industry Assn. CEO David Crawford says after September deliveries came in 11.3% over prior-year.
Oz September Sales Up as SUVs Pick Up Cars’ Slack 
SUV deliveries rose 6.8% from a year earlier to 39,497 units, pushing the segment’s 9-month total up 9.9% to 332,103. By contrast, September car sales fell 8.7% to 42,076 units and were down 5.8% for the year at 366,203.
J.D. Power Oz Says Satisfied Buyers Look Past Price
J.D. Power found significant disparity in satisfaction levels when examining customers’ choices of their dealer. Among customers choosing their dealer based on getting a good deal, overall satisfaction is 812, five points below the industry average.
Skoda Survey Concludes Young Workers Want Company Cars
Desirability for a company car was strongest among young drivers (17-24), with 33% revealing they would be more likely to accept a job if they were offered a vehicle to drive.
Green Colors Millennials’ Views on Car Ownership
Of 2,500 Millennials surveyed, 77% currently own cars and nearly two-of-three say they likely will buy a hybrid car in the next 10 years and more than half say they would buy an EV in that time span.
Thailand’s 2016 Sales Inch Into Positive Territory 
August new-vehicle sales rose 2.5%, lifting the year-to-date result into positive territory at 0.2%.
Public-Private Partnership Focused on Green Energy
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization’s center will be a hub for researchers and industry to identify, improve and apply energy technologies.
New Zealand Extends Tax Exemption for EV Drivers
Light EVs are exempt from paying road-user charges otherwise applied to vehicles that don’t pay for gasoline at the pump. The exemption is being extended to Dec. 31, 2021 as part of the government’s pro-EV initiative.


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