The 11th annual Southern Automotive Conference was held in Georgia for the first time at the Atlanta Cobb Galleria on October 3rd through the 5th. The event, which is hailed as the South’s largest automotive industry conference, was hosted by the Georgia Automotive Manufacturers Association.
Otsuka Chemical was one of over 20 Japanese companies attending the event, and had reserved a table in the Japan External Trade Organization pavilion. A number of interested attendees approached OCAI to learn more about Otsuka Chemical’s foaming agents for the purpose of weight reduction applications. Samples were available for them to examine and compare.
A number of timely topics of discussion were held at the conference, including the impact of steel and aluminum tariffs, and the new NAFTA regulations on southern auto makers. Also, a presentation was given on the joint venture between Toyota and Mazda to build a new factory in Northern Alabama, and the economic effect it would have on the area. On the final day, Governor Nathan Deal gave an address and acknowledged the large foreign automotive investment in the state of Georgia. He also expressed his personal gratitude directly to all of the Japanese firms for coming to the state and creating so many job opportunities. Next year’s event will be held in Nashville, TN, September 25th – 27th.