On the heels of the Canadian Automotive Aftermarket Forum, plans have come to our attention for the Society of Automotive Analysts’ (SAA) 15th annual Automotive Outlook Conference being held in conjunction with the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Scheduled for Tuesday, the theme of the OE directed conference is “Profitless Prosperity: Can It Happen? Will It Happen?” The conference’s signature sponsor this year is J.D. Power and Associates, the automotive industry’s premier reporting resource on customer attitudes regarding products and services. The conference will include four panels with multiple speakers in each: * Wall Street’s Outlook – leading automotive analysts addressing the most challenging issue the auto industry faces today — financial performance — from the perspective of both the vehicle manufacturer and the supplier. * A Global Outlook – the automotive industry is increasingly being influenced by global forces. Join our panel of regional analysts to gain insights into the automotive outlooks for Asia, Europe and South America. * Automotive Branding – as vehicles become more alike in terms of performance and quality, automakers and dealers turn to brand identity to make their car or dealership stand out from the crowd. The panel will discuss best practices in the acquisition, development, and marketing of a superior automotive brand. * The Leading Economists’ Annual Report – a perennial favourite. Van Jolissaint of DaimlerChrysler, Ellen Hughes-Cromwick of Ford Motor, and Mustafa Mohatarem of General Motors — chief economists rolling out their assessments and projections for the automotive industry for 2003 and beyond.