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June 21, 2004

Auto industry's annual Traverse City conference Aug. 2-6

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The 39th annual Management Briefing Seminars, the auto industry's premier conference, will take place Aug. 2-6 at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa near Traverse City, Mich.

car logoMore than 1,200 executives from industry, government and academia are expected to attend the conference, which is co-sponsored by the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute's Office for the Study of Automotive Transportation and the U-M College of Engineering's Center for Professional Development.

The weeklong event will feature the three-day flagship 2004 Automotive Management Briefing (Aug. 4-6). This year's theme is the "Perfect Storm," which will focus on "an unusual confluence of factors that is creating an extraordinarily turbulent and dangerous period in the auto industry." These factors include hyper-competition at all levels of the industry, rapid global integration, exploding peripheral costs such as health care and litigation, increased global regulation, and opportunities and threats in developing countries and regions such as China and India.

"All the players in the automotive industry are at an extremely critical juncture," said David Cole, CAR chairman. "Given the state of the industry, I see this year's conference as a must-attend event for those who seek viable strategies for navigating tough times today and for surviving and growing in the future."

The first two days (Aug. 2-3) will focus on manufacturing strategies and technologies for global competitiveness; solutions to product-development challenges; best enterprise practices; information technology; product life-cycle management; and the challenges of building a major manufacturing facility.

Confirmed speakers include: Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm; Fujio Cho, president and chief executive officer, Toyota Motor Corp.; John Devine, vice chairman and chief financial officer, General Motors Corp.; Allan Gilmour, vice chairman, Ford Motor Co.; Frank Horton, executive vice president, Magna International; Hidetoshi Imazu, senior vice president, Nissan Motor Co.; Tom LaSorda, chief operating officer, DaimlerChrysler Corp.; and Paul Wilbur, president and chief executive officer, ASC Inc.

For more information or to register for the Management Briefing Seminars, visit the MBS Web site at www.cargroup.org/mbs2004/index.htm or call CAR at (734) 662-1287 or (866) 374-6227.

Contact: Bernie DeGroat
Phone: (734) 936-1015 or 647-1847
E-mail: bernied@umich.edu