Henry Ford once said, 'History is bunk.' If he were alive today, he might just as easily say, 'Sales projections are bunk.' Automotive executives routinely make billion-dollar investments on the strength of economic projections that aren't worth the proverbial paper they're printed on. Does anyone truly believe they can predict the fluctuations of Brazil's currency, or the future strength of the Thai baht?
And yet, the auto industry's fortunetellers persist. They have to. In an unpredictable world, we must make decisions based upon what little knowledge we have. Of course, that makes the acquisition of knowledge even more urgent. That's one reason why you are reading this magazine. And it's also a reason to attend our upcoming automotive conference in Bangkok.
On March 28 and 29, Automotive News International is sponsoring its first Asia-Pacific World Congress, an event to be held at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel. Our theme: 'When the Trade Barriers Come Down: Opportunity in Asia.' We will hold a panel discussion on the ASEAN region's efforts to reduce trade tariffs.
And we will offer attendees a chance to meet some of Asia's top auto executives. A partial list of speakers includes Rudy Schlais, president of GM Asia-Pacific; Vaughn Koshkarian, president of Ford Asia-Pacific; Koji Hasegawa, a managing director of Toyota Motor Corp.; and Stefan Jacoby, president of Volkswagen Asia-Pacific.
On the first day of the conference, we will focus on the market strategies employed by the automakers. On the second day, we will devote the agenda to suppliers. Following the conference, attendees can use their VIP passes to attend the Bangkok auto show.
The registration fee is $975. Group discounts are available. You can register online at ww.autonewsinternational.com. Or if you want more information, you may contact our Bangkok organizer, Tim Dunne. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected] Or you can phone him at 662-264-0699. His fax number is 662-264-0701. History may be bunk, but knowledge is power. I'll see you in Bangkok.
E-mail Editor David Sedgwick at [email protected]