NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Five years ago, Andreas Renschler didn't know where Alabama was. Today the 40-year-old German is CEO of the state's only automaker, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc. And he's looking to sink deeper roots into his new home by expanding production, boosting exports and forging stronger ties with North American suppliers.
Reflections on the past and outlooks on the future were common focal points at the first Automotive News Southeast Conference. The three-day event, held April 26-28 in Nashville, focused on the 'New American Manufacturers' that have transformed the U.S. auto industry over the past 15 years.
In keeping with the conference theme - 'A Regional Manufac-turing Center Tied to a Global Industry' - those same automakers continue to expand horizons and influence. As conference speaker and Saturn Corp. CEO Don Hudler said, 'We cannot limit our focus to just Spring Hill, or the U.S. market for that matter.'