Alan Harman


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

New Zealand LV Sales Up Double Digits in August
New-car sales had their strongest August since 1986, jumping 9.4% year-on-year to 7,752 units. Toyota outsold second- and third-place Mazda and GM Holden combined.
Oz August Sales Rise With Another Lift From SUVs 
“Sales of SUVs increased 19.4% on August 2014 figures, with a large part of that growth in the small-SUV segment, where sales increased by 51.3%,” industry spokesman Tony Weber says.
Land Rover Researchers Envision Blindspot Removal
Feeds from the towing vehicle’s surround-camera system are combined to create live video images that make the trailer appear see-through in the vehicle’s rearview mirror.
Extended Warranties Extended to U.K. EV Owners
Extended-warranty provider Warrantywise says it is the first in the U.K. to offer aftermarket coverage for EVs with introductory prices from £55 ($87) a month.
Toyota Thailand Suspends Prius Output in Tax Tiff 
The dispute stems from a Finance Ministry investigation into whether the hybrid is a completely knocked-down vehicle totally assembled in Thailand, or is an imported car subject to a 187.8% duty.
U.K. to Test Wireless Recharging for EVs, Hybrids
The trials, expected to begin later this year, involve fitting vehicles with wireless technology and testing equipment installed underneath the road to replicate highway conditions.
July Marks 26th Straight Month of Thai Sales Slide 
After seven months, the Thai market was down 15.8% at 429,972 deliveries. Car sales were down 20.8% and the CV segment was off 12.2%.
Malaysia July Sales Down From Year-Ago, Up From June 
In line with falling sales, Malaysian production eased fractionally to 40,655 units in July from a year-earlier 41,012.
Ford Prepping Mustang for November Arrival in U.K.
Some 80% of U.K. customers are opting for the fastback body style over the convertible and 70% want the 416-hp 5.0L V-8 over the more fuel-efficient 317-hp 2.3L EcoBoost engine.
Honda Reveals BR-V Prototype at Indonesia Show
The BR-V is scheduled to be marketed first in Indonesia early next year and then in other countries. Production starts in January.
Oz Cars Need Standard Safety Features, Advocates Say 
The auto-safety and medical groups are unhappy that while autonomous emergency braking is standard on new cars in Europe, Japan, and the U.S., it is a costly option in Australia or not offered at all.
Researchers Look to Keep Wildlife Out of Harm’s Way 
Although picture-based warning signs outperformed word-based warning signs, both RADS versions caused drivers to reduce their speed and brake earlier.
Toyota SUV Tops Chinese Model in Safety Tests 
Of the seven SUVs crash-tested by ASEAN NCAP, the Rush is the first Toyota model. The vehicle tested is built in Indonesia, and although electronic stability control was not available, antilock braking is standard across all variants.
July U.K. Car, Engine Output Down by Double Digits
Industry spokesman Mike Hawes says the July decline reflected the normal cyclical falls in output during the summer months, when most manufacturers suspend production to conduct plant maintenance, upgrades and retooling.
Trends Look Good for New-Car Sales in Australia 
Australians in the market for a new car in the next 12 months now number 624,000, compared with 608,000 the same time last year, Roy Morgan Research says.
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