Auto Service World
News   November 10, 2003   by Auto Service World

Changing Automotive Sales Market Focus of Conference

The steps automakers, suppliers and dealers must take to win in today’s market–and what it will take tomorrow–is the focus of the 2004 Automotive News World Congress.
Scheduled for January 12 – 15 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dearborn, Mich. in concert with the North American International Automotive Show in Detroit, the conference features nearly three dozen industry leaders who will address "After the Shakeout: Why Winners Win."
Spotlighting the strong, sometimes innovative, business models of companies that have survived and thrived despite the U.S. economy’s downturn and cost pressures driven by competition and pricey retail incentives. The Automotive News World Congress, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM, features individual morning addresses, afternoon panel presentations and keynote dinner speakers.
Sharing their insights during the event’s evening programs will be: Gary L. Cowger, GM Group vice president, president GM North America, General Motors; Ron Gettelfinger, president, UAW; Allan Gilmour, vice chairman, Ford Motor Company; Peter Horbury, director of design, Premier Automotive Group; Kathleen Ligocki, president and CEO, Tower Automotive Inc.; and Dr. Helmut Panke, chairman of the Board of Management, BMW AG.
A sneak preview of the Ford Rouge Factory Tour — including the visitor centre, the Art of Manufacturing Theatre and a trip to the observation deck for a panoramic view of the 10 acre “living roof” — will open the event Jan. 12.
Participants will also tour the North American International Auto Show Jan. 15, which runs concurrently with the Congress. Top executives from the manufacturing and supplier sectors participating in the afternoon panel presentations will address such pressing industry issues as Winning Retail Opportunities — Escalating incentives and other marketing costs are creating razor-thin profit margins on new vehicles. Smart dealers are utilizing customer relationship management tools and emphasizing other profit centres such as finance and insurance, telematics, certified used vehicles and aftermarket parts sales to boost profits.
The discussion will highlight what business models work, how they work and what’s next.
Global Purchasing and Emerging Markets: Competitive cost pressures are forcing some automakers to shop abroad for parts, even as they seek new business overseas in emerging markets. Their suppliers are moving overseas with them, learning in the process how to manage costs in their own supply chains. The presentation will outline processes that work, what it takes to do business in emerging markets, such as China, and what’s the next “big thing” to help win new business.
Powertrains of the Future: From gasoline-electric hybrids to hydrogen-powered fuel cells and new diesel engines, contenders are lining up to replace the traditional gasoline engine. These technologies present a variety of development and marketing options and challenges to automakers, suppliers and consumers. The session will delve into new technologies, identify those most likely to succeed and other options in the pipeline.
Remarketing: Profits in an Era of Incentives: With the declining value of used-cars and off-lease vehicle residuals, dealers are developing new avenues, such as certified used vehicles and creative financing, to bolster profitability. The discussion will revolve around what’s new, what works and what’s next. Highlighting the Congress’ Jan. 14 Gala Dinner will be the presentation of the annual Automotive News/Pricewaterhouse Coopers Shareholder Value Awards to manufacturers, suppliers and retailers.
The early-bird registration fee for all four days of the Automotive News World Congress is $1,295 by Nov. 26. The registration fee is $1,495 after Nov. 26 and the daily rate is $695. Online registration is available at For a complete agenda, or to register, contact the Center for Automotive Research by phone at 866-374-6227 (U.S. only) or via e-mail at

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