Alan Harman


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


Autonomous Vehicles: A Lighter Shade of Green?
University of Michigan and Ford researchers say the added weight, electricity demand and aerodynamic drag of the sensors and computers used in autonomous vehicles contribute significantly to their lifetime energy use and greenhouse-gas emissions.
Ireland Center to Augment JLR Engineering in U.K.
Working alongside JLR’s engineering team in the U.K., the Shannon facility will develop new technologies to support electrification and self-driving features on future Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.
Rolls-Royce SUV Named for World’s Biggest Diamond
The Cullinan is the second Rolls-Royce, after the Phantom, to ride on the automaker’s all-new proprietary aluminum spaceframe it calls Architecture of Luxury. Eventually the next Ghost, Wraith and Dawn also will use this architecture.
GM Holden Commodore Awarded Top Safety Rating
The Australasian New Car Assessment Program safety rating is based on testing conducted by Euro NCAP on the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia in 2017. The Commodore shares its structure with that of the Insignia supplied to Europe.
Diesel Vehicles Down But Not Out Down Under
New-vehicle buying intentions examined by Roy Morgan Research finds the consideration of diesel-fuel vehicles now trails the appeal of hybrid vehicles with 52%, but remains ahead of electric vehicles (37%) and well ahead of liquid-propane-gas vehicles (21%).
Toyota Lays Groundwork for Australia’s Hydrogen Era
Hydrogen Mobility Australia grew out of a Toyota-backed industry initiative which identified the need for cooperation within the hydrogen community to focus on the development of standards and supporting infrastructure such as refueling stations.
Oz Government Not on Same Electric-Vehicle Page
A spokeswoman for Transport Minister Barnaby Joyce tells the Sydney Morning Herald the government has no plans to follow France, the U.K., Norway and the Netherlands and ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars in coming years.
Australian State Upgrading Crash-Testing Facility
Roads Minister Melinda Pavey says the Crashlab upgrade will mean that to achieve a top ANCAP safety rating of five stars, an effective autonomous-emergency-braking or lane-support system will be required on all new vehicles.
Ford Research Gives New Meaning to ‘Rush Hour’
Ford researchers in Germany say their research finds driving a sports car daily is among the best ways to boost a sense of well-being and emotional fulfillment.
Malta, Romania Not Going Green Quickly Enough for EU
The European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, is referring both countries to the Court of Justice for failing to provide their green-vehicle infrastructure plans to the EC.
Brexit Blamed As U.K. Vehicle Output Drops in 2017
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders says U.K. plant production dropped 3% to 1,671,166 units in 2017, but the result still was the second-highest in 17 years.
Advocates Pitch EVs, PHEVs to U.K. Businesses
Go Ultra Low, a joint motor industry and government campaign, says as many as 435,000 small- and medium-sized U.K. enterprises each could save up to £1,440 a year with their first EV.
Toyota Veteran Named to Head Australian Operations
For Callachor, 56, his move into the top position in Australia caps a 36-year career with Toyota. It follows 18 months as a Toyota Australia vice president responsible for the sales, marketing, product planning, corporate services and finance divisions.
Honda Sets 2017 Sales Record in Asia, Oceania Region 
The main contributor to Honda’s regional result was Indonesia with 180,971 deliveries, although that was off 5% from the 2016 total.
Rough December Leaves Malaysia 2017 Result Negative 
The December market saw new-car sales plummet 16.5% to 48,077 units and commercial-vehicle deliveries slip 8.0% to 6,652.