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Micheline Maynard, Laurie Harbour to be featured on conference agenda

Theprogramming for the opening day of the Southern Automotive Conference (SAC)added two key pieces with today’s announcement that Micheline Maynard willdeliver a keynote on the future of the automotive industry and that LaurieHarbour will lead a supplier excellence panel.


“Thereare major opportunities and challenges on the horizon for the automotivemanufacturing industry,” said Ron Davis, Alabama Automotive ManufacturersAssociation (AAMA) president. “We will be taking an in depth look at both withthe addition of two leading industry experts to our program, Micki Maynard andLaurie Harbour.”


Maynard,a former New York Times senior business correspondent and bureau chief,will look at how consumers are using a “transportation portfolio” rather thanrelying solely on cars. She will explore the impact on the auto industry of newalternatives such as Uber, bike sharing and expanded public transit programs.


“Today,drivers have more choices than ever on how and what they use to get from pointA to point B,” said Davis. “SAC attendees will hear from Maynard on howautomakers can play a role in this evolution.”


Maynard,who is the director of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for BusinessJournalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalismand Mass Communication, will deliver her keynote during Thursday’s luncheonsession.


Asan added benefit, Maynard’s new Forbes eBook “Curbing Cars: America’sIndependence from the Auto Industry,” will be available to all SAC attendeesfree of charge.


Harbour,the president and CEO of Harbour Results, will lead Thursday’s SupplierIndustry Outlook during the first day of the conference, which will be heldOct. 8-10 at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex in downtownBirmingham.


Harbour,a consultant with extensive experience working alongside automotive original equipmentmanufacturers (OEMs) and major suppliers, will review the results fromher 2013 Automotive Vendor Tooling Study, and discuss how the industry – particularly in the South – might manage the $6 billion impendingcapacity gap.


Following her presentation, Harbour will welcome representativesfrom some of the region’s top suppliers to the stage to spearhead aconversation about managing challenges related to supplying OEMs in the South,including capacity demands and low-cost pressures.


Otherconference highlights include:

·        Therelease of the Center for Automotive Research’s Southern Automotive ResearchAgenda, featuring Alabama Governor Bentley and Mississippi Governor Bryant;

·        AnOEM panel discussion featuring representatives from Honda, Mercedes, Kia,Toyota and Nissan;

·        Ashowcase of effective workforce development solutions from across the South;

·        Apresentation on the “safety first” approach to autonomous driving; and

·        Adeep dive into safety and compliance issues that are top of mind for OSHAinspectors.


Basedupon early projections, conference organizers are expecting a record turnoutfor this year’s event. For more information on the 2014 SAC, and to registeronline, visit the conference’s official website at Questions may also be directedto Sally Parker at or 615-242-8856.


About the Southern Automotive Conference

TheSAC, which annually rotates between Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, hasemerged as the South’s leading automotive event, attracting more than 500industry professionals each year. The conference provides a forum for topexecutives from original automotive manufacturers (OEMs) and major suppliers toshowcase new product developments, collaborate on best practices and discussstrategies to strengthen the region’s burgeoning automotive industry. TheAlabama Automotive Manufacturers Association (AAMA) is organizing this year’sevent along with its SAC partner organizations from Mississippi, Tennessee,Georgia and South Carolina. The theme for the SAC is “Geared for Growth:Accelerating the Global Automotive Industry,” and the conference’sgeneral sessions and breakout panels will emphasize the need to improveoperational excellence, strengthen the workforce and increase process andproduct innovations.


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