Auto Executives Gather for Conference (250)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Auto executives from throughout the nation will gather here Sunday for a three-day conference on the Southeastern U.S. automotive industry.

The Automotive News Southeast Conference is set for the Renaissance Nashville Hotel. Automotive News, Deloitte Touche and the University of Tennessee are sponsors.

“Important leaders in manufacturing, purchasing and component supply will come together to share ideas and shed light on this rapidly evolving region,” Peter Brown, associate publisher and editor of Automotive News, said.

Jerry Benefield, president and chief executive officer of Nissan USA, and Robert Oswald, chairman of Robert Bosch Automotive Group, will speak at the opening session Sunday.

A Monday morning panel on regional manufacturing in a global industry will include Andreas Renschler, president of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, and Donald Hudler, chairman and president of Saturn Corp.

Yale Gieszl, executive vice president of Toyota Motor Sales USA, and Dr. Warren Neel, dean of business administration at UT-Knoxville, will join Renschler and Hudler on the panel.

Purchasing and supply will be the focus of the afternoon session. UT is sponsoring an auto mini summit Tuesday morning.

Dr. Joe Johnson, UT president, said the success of an automotive session at the Governor’s Economic Summit last fall’s led to the university’s participation in the Southeast Conference.

“The University of Tennessee has worked closely with Saturn, Nissan and many of the major suppliers in our state for several years,” Johnson said. “We are positioned and seek to extend the university’s capabilities and resources to other manufacturers and suppliers in the region.”

Contact: Tom Ballard (423-974-6621)