Alan Harman


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

Malaysian Automakers Not Panicked By Sales Slide 
An industry group says anticipation of the launch of the locally built Perodua Axia and Proton Iriz curtailed bookings for other models, and stricter requirements for vehicle loans impacted sales, as well.
Hyundai First With FCV in U.K. 
The arrival of the first ix35 models comes just after £11 million in U.K. government and industry funding is earmarked to expand the nationwide hydrogen refueling station network and increase the uptake of fuel-cell vehicles.
U.K. Aiming for Leading Edge in FCEV Development 
The investment is part of a deeper £500 million ($806.2 million) government funding pot to be invested between 2015 and 2020 in the U.K.’s drive to become a global leader in the development and take-up of low-emissions vehicles.
Oz Buyers Turning Toward SUVs in Bigger Numbers 
Roy Morgan Research finds small SUVs have experienced an especially dizzying surge in popularity, with 180,000 potential car buyers now having one on their shopping list – up from 71,000 in 2011.
Alternative Vehicle Power Gains Traction in U.K. 
Conventional hybrids such as the Toyota Prius were the most popular choice among alternatively fueled vehicles, with 19% of those surveyed indicating they would consider buying such a vehicle within the next two years.
Near-Term Recovery Doubtful as Sales Continue to Slide in Russia 
To date, the market is down 13.0% from year-ago and automakers see that pace continuing, with the year expected to wind up at only 2.45 million units.
Vauxhall Downsizes New-Car Warranty Protection 
Chairman and Managing Director Tim Tozer cites the changing ownership landscape and significant investment in new technology as keys to the change from 100,000 miles.
Local Chinese Brands Front and Center at Macau Show 
The show, set for Nov. 7-9, has attracted more than 60 major automobile brands from 15 countries and regions.
Thailand OKs Ford, GM Eco-Car Plans 
In all, the Board of Investment approved TB52.6 billion worth of projects in the second phase of the eco-car program.
Number-Plate Update Boosts U.K. Car-Sales Numbers 
September is a key month for the industry with the biannual number-plate update. September and March, the months of the plate change, together account for one-third of a year’s sales.
More Australians Putting New-Car Purchases on Hold 
Roy Morgan Research says new-car-buying intention has slumped further among people planning to buy a new car in the next 12 months, falling from 608,000 in July to 523,000 in August.
New Zealand Market May Be Headed for Record Year 
Passenger-vehicle sales rose 15.3% to 8,382 units for the best September results since 1986, while commercial-vehicle deliveries jumped 23.5% to 3,458 for the best result on record.
Australia New-Vehicle Sales Halt Slide in September 
The September sales bump wasn’t enough to keep year-to-date deliveries from slipping 2%, but the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries says the market is tracking to sell more than 1.1 million units for the third straight year.
Mazda Launches New Sales Operation in South Africa 
Mazda entered South Africa in 1963 and now it is the automaker’s highest-volume market on the African continent, with sales of 6,309 units last year.
Lane-Change Crash Rise Linked to Distracted Driving 
Insurance experts say time spent using a cellphone or hastily following instructions from a satellite-navigation system can prevent a driver from making the necessary checks before merging into the next lane.
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