Alan Harman


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

U.K. Ups Spending on EV Charging Infrastructure, R&D 
Nearly half of the new funding is earmarked for continuing an electric-vehicle home-charging installation program that gives drivers a 75% grant of up to £700.
Market Leader Toyota Australia Sales Hit 6 Million 
Australians have bought 3.5 million Toyota cars, more than 1.7 million light-commercial vehicles and 830,000 SUVs since the automaker launched sales in 1958. Toyota estimates about 62% of the vehicles still are registered.
Thai Automakers Predict Rebound in 2015 Production 
The industry is targeting a 14.4% year-on-year improvement from 2014, when output fell short of projections amid political turmoil and economic uncertainty.
Suzuki U.K. Pulls Out Stops on Celerio Brake Fix 
After Autocar magazine reported the failure of its emergency-braking test from high speed, Suzuki issued a safety recall, saying the problem was a flaw in the brake-pedal release mechanism.
Fuel Efficiency Steers Oz Buyers to Distinct Segments 
The research company says nearly 80% of Australian motorists – 87% of car drivers, 73% of large-SUV drivers – consider fuel efficiency to be more important in a vehicle than high performance.
Thai Brake Suppliers Eye Advanced Technology, Broader Reach 
Suppliers are told to shift away from price competition and pay more attention to R&D, at the ASEAN’s inaugural brake-systems conference in Bangkok.
BMW Eager to Develop Thai Electric-Vehicle Market 
The German automaker imports two electric vehicles into Thailand, the ’14 BMW i8 and the ’15 BMW i3. It says tax incentives and infrastructure development would make it possible for all local automakers to build EVs.
Seven Automakers Now Behind U.K.’s ULEV Campaign
Between them, the seven Go Ultra Low manufacturing members boast 15 ULEVs across a variety of models, from family cars and vans to SUVs and high-performance sports cars.
U.K. Engine Production Shows 0.2% January Uptick 
Output for the U.K. market climbed 11.2% last month to 78,960 units, more than enough to offset a 5.6% drop in export demand to 127,726.
Proton Explores Vehicle Development, Manufacturing Partnership in Indonesia 
The exploratory talks with PT. Adiperkasa Citra Lestari could lead to a major change in the ASEAN automotive landscape, says one industry insider.
Shanghai Show Shifts Focus From Skin to Sheetmetal 
“We hope exhibitors promote their products in a healthy and classy way,” show organizers say. “Activities with low taste and those that violate social morality are prohibited.”
U.K. Green-Lights Driverless Cars on Public Roads 
The announcement follows a 6-month government review that considered the best and safest ways to test automated vehicles that allow an individual to take control of the car if necessary. It also looked further ahead to the legal implications.
Malaysian Sales Flat in January Ahead of Tax Cut 
The Malaysian Automotive Assn. says consumers are delaying purchases because a 6% goods and services tax replaces a 10% sales-and-service tax on new vehicles on April 1.
Ford Oz Plans Transition to Sales, Engineering Only 
The automaker plans a new national sales company and says serious R&D work will still go on in Australia, where its car manufacturing is slated to end next year.
Audi Notches 2 Millionth Delivery in U.K.
The Volkswagen-owned luxury brand is to spend about €24 billion between now and 2019, with 70% channeled into new-model development and innovative technologies.
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