DETROIT -- Airbags, catalytic converters, lightweight materials - automotive engineers have a long tradition of finding solutions to challenges that threaten the industry. For the past two years, though, a solution to the falling attendance and suppliers' lack of interest in the engineers' annual gathering in Detroit has eluded the Society of Automotive Engineers.
The professional organization was able to tout the high number of technical papers presented at the SAE World Congress and the diversity of topics covered. At the same time, it was unable to stop the exodus of virtually all major Tier 1 suppliers from the event's exposition.
After spending months canvassing suppliers for their complaints and suggestions for the event -- and spurred by added effort from the
Big 3 -- SAE has redesigned its world congress for 2003. Changes include:
n Focusing technical presentations on five primary technologies: advanced powertrain and propulsion, advanced electronics, environment and emissions, safety and testing, and lightweight materials. The show floor includes space for suppliers to show technology related to the focus areas.