Alan Harman


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


Thai LV Sales Flat in May Amid Economic Uncertainty 
Despite the mere 0.6% uptick in May, sales after five months were up 12.4% year-on-year. Toyota remained the market leader despite a 19.6% plunge that saw it fail to lead either the car or commercial-vehicle segments for the first time in years.
U.K. Auto Industry Not Ready to Cut EU Trade Ties
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders wants the U.K. to maintain membership in the single market and customs union until a final agreement on a new relationship with the EU is negotiated and implemented.
Researchers Developing Liquid-Powered Batteries
The Ifbattery energy storage system could enable drivers to fill up battery-electric or hybrid-electric vehicles with fluid electrolytes to re-energize spent battery fluids much like refueling gas tanks.
Skoda Superb Rated Superb by U.K. New-Car Owners
Driver Power, which bills itself as Britain’s biggest motorist survey, says it found the Skoda Superb is the car that makes its owners happiest, with a 93.4% satisfaction score. The Volkswagen subsidiary’s Yeti takes second place with 93.3%.
Ex-Malaysian Prime Minister Angered by Proton Deal
Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, 90, alleges the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak’s support for the decision to sell Proton, a company he founded while in the top job, is an act of vengeance against him.
Ford U.K. Workshops Help Workers Gear for Fatherhood
The expecting fathers are given information on statutory entitlements, company policy and provisions, health and safety considerations, flexible working policy, the return-to-work process and the salary sacrifice.
Malaysia LV Sales Climb By Double Digits in May 
The Malaysian Automotive Assn. says the market was driven by a boost from the pre-Hari Raya festive season marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, as well as new model launches.
Toyota Australia Profits as End of Production Looms
Toyota has announced it will shutter its Altona manufacturing plant in Victoria on Oct. 3. The factory will continue operating on two shifts until the closure date, when the number of Australian employees will drop from 3,900 to about 1,300.
Annual London Motor Show Moving to Bigger Venue
Show Chairman Alec Mumford says the move to Exhibition Center London comes after this year’s exhibition drew more than 25,000 visitors and 130 new-vehicle displays during the weekend-long event at Battersea Park.
Ford to Research Smart Mobility From London Office
The office will give Ford specialists easy access to world-class digital companies, leading academic institutions and existing partners as it targets the near-term development of smart-mobility solutions that meet major European cities’ specific needs.
GM Names New Managing Director of Thai Operations
Sumito Ishii, managing director-GM Vietnam, takes over as managing director-GM Thailand and as interim managing director-Chevrolet Sales Thailand until a permanent replacement is announced.
EU Sets Target for Reducing Serious Road Injuries
EU transport ministers say the persistently high number of traffic fatalities – 26,100 in 2015 – and serious road traffic injuries in member countries is a major societal problem causing human suffering and unacceptable economic costs.
Confidence Key to Driverless Rollout, Oz Agency Says
The Australasian New Car Assessment Program’s CEO says independent evaluation of autonomous crash-avoidance technologies’ effectiveness is equally as important as the agency’s tests of a vehicle’s crashworthiness.
Toyota Oz Branch Launches Fleet Car-Sharing System
Toyota Fleet Management says the centralized car-sharing system gives users total visibility of shared vehicles at any time when they log in on their desktops or via a smartphone app.
Work Under Way on GM Holden Commodore Supercar
The next-gen Commodore will be homologated with the current V-8 engine only for the 2018 season. A new, twin-turbocharged V-6 meeting Supercars’ Gen 2 regulations is being co-developed with the General Motors Performance and Racing Center in Pontiac, MI.