Alan Harman


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

Australia Senate Vows to Block Auto Industry Aid Cuts 
Supporters of the existing federal-aid program say slashing assistance will scuttle any chance for the industry to diversify after GM Holden, Ford and Toyota end local manufacturing by the end of 2017.
Thailand October Sales Slump 20%; Down 36% on Year 
Toyota Executive Vice President Wutthikorn Suriyachantanano says sales are being impacted by the high burden of household debt and shrinking farm income, reducing consumers’ purchasing power.
Researchers Tout Supercapacitors for EV Power Boost 
Supercapacitors made into a thin film with a high power density could be embedded in an EV’s body panels, roof, doors, hood and floor, storing enough energy to charge the battery in just a few minutes.
U.K. Sees LV, Engine Production Decline in October 
The October build for the home front rose 10.6% to 33,895 units, but this gain was swamped by the much bigger export market, which fell 10.8% to 115,165.
Malaysia Car Sales Flat, CV Sales Slip in October 
Last month’s result left year-to-date LV sales at 546,492 units, up just 0.6% from year-ago’s 543,048.
Thailand Motor Expo Exhibitors Thinking Positive 
Organizer Kwanchai Paphatphong predicts the last big buying event of the year will generate sales of 45,000 to 50,000 vehicles, up from 41,000 in 2013.
Toyota Chief Drives Final Leg of Cross-Oz Test Drive
Akio Toyoda calls the 10-week test drive an invaluable learning experience, allowing employees and executives involved in global development of Toyota vehicles to refine their skills so they can create ever-better cars.
Australia Aligning Car-Safety Criteria With Europe’s 
ANCAP is entering a transition phase from 2015 as its revises its tests, protocols and calculation methods to conform more closely to those of its sister organization, Euro NCAP.
Russia’s Lengthy LV Sales Decline Eases in October 
Last month’s relative improvement resulted from the government scrappage incentive program supporting domestic-vehicle sales and the sharp decline of the ruble raising short-term demand for imported models.
Mazda Launches Output of Eco Car at Thailand JV Plant 
Mazda is investing TB9.7 billion to build 158,000 Mazda2s and 200,000 auto parts annually. Another TB2.9 billion will be spent to produce engines for the small car.
Malaysian Automaker Proton Enhancing Honda Hookup 
Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed says Proton adopted this collaborative approach because it is more economical. He says developing its own car would have cost the automaker between $500 million and $2 billion.
Import Opponents Say Oz Cars Already Among Least Expensive 
CommSec says someone earning the average wage has to work only for about 26 weeks to be able to purchase a new Ford Falcon XT sedan, compared with 30 weeks just a couple of years ago.
Volvo Adds XC60 Into Mix at Chengdu Plant
Volvo says XC60 sales rose 20.4% worldwide to 98,309 units in the first nine months of 2014, while sales in China during the period jumped 32.3% to 24,940.
October Second-Best Month of 2014 for U.K. Car Sales 
Last month’s result outperformed expectations, with new-car sales showing their strongest single-month growth since March’s 18% rise.
Experts: Electricity, Smaller ICEs to Cut Emissions 
Sustaining its 2%-3% annual reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions over the next 35 years will be ‟a tall order” for the auto industry, says Patrick Moseley, president emeritus of the Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium.
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