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August 01, 2012 | Tom Ballard

“Southern Automotive Conference” set for October in Chattanooga

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following news release was provided by the Tennessee Automotive Manufacturer’s Association.)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Automotive Manufacturer’s Association (TAMA), an organization created to strengthen and expand Tennessee’s automotive industry, is hosting the 2012 “Southern Automotive Conference” on October 11-12 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. New to this year’s conference is an Innovation Forum sponsored by LaunchTN.

LaunchTN, a public-private partnership designed to foster innovation and entrepreneurship, is hosting an Innovation Forum, which will feature new automotive research and technology from Tennessee and across the South.

“Leading research institutions and entrepreneurs have long considered Tennessee an important state for automotive innovations. LaunchTN is looking forward to this partnership with the Southern Automotive Conference to highlight our region’s vast automotive assets and technologies,” said LaunchTN CEO Brad Smith.

Jay Williams, Executive Director of the Federal Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers under President Barack Obama (also known as the “Car Czar”) will deliver the keynote address to conference attendees on Friday, October 12.

The conference theme is “The Driving Force: People, Place, Progress.” The Southern United States has the fastest growing automotive industry in North America. By developing cutting-edge technology and setting the standard for the next generation of automotive assembly, the South has become the driving force for the United States automotive industry.

“The business climate in this region for the automotive sector is extremely positive with a strong growth forecast. The South’s strength comes from a commitment to supporting our workforce and to constant improvement in manufacturing and supply-chain processes,” said Thomas Brewer, TAMA President. “For the past three years Tennessee has been ranked top in the country for automotive manufacturing strength by Business Facilities. This conference provides a forum for automotive employers across the region to discuss ways to continue to innovate to ensure the South stays on top.”

This year’s agenda includes breakout sessions on workforce development, creative “disruptive” technologies and best management practices. An interactive exhibit hall/trade show will feature several automobiles to allow attendees to network, exchange ideas and conduct business.

The conference brings together more than 500 executives from all sectors of the industry, including original equipment manufacturers, suppliers and service providers, primarily from the Southeastern United States. Hosted by TAMA, the conference is presented in partnership with The Mississippi Automotive Manufacturer’s Association and the Alabama Automotive Manufacturer’s Association.

About the Tennessee Automotive Manufacturer’s Association

TAMA started in 1987 in response to Tennessee’s rapidly growing automotive manufacturing industry.  The organization provides unique networking and educational opportunities through its membership meetings. TAMA’s diverse membership includes OEMs (General Motors, Nissan and Volkswagen); Tier 1, 2, and 3 suppliers; government agencies; and professional services organizations that have specialized expertise in the automotive industry.  Find out more about TAMA or become a member at

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