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Automotive News World Congress 2012 recap

18 January 2012 IHS Markit Automotive Expert

For the second straight year, I had the opportunity to attend the Automotive News World Congress. This event provides attendees with an opportunity to hear the current state of the automotive industry and opinions on the future from some of the most respected leaders across the industry. This year's event was no exception and one thing was clear, the U.S. auto industry is refreshed and revitalized.

Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance spoke about the importance of limiting priorities to ideally two major elements and stated that he worries about complacency and conservatism. Mr. Ghosn also stated that Nissan would be launching 20 new models in the next 24 months.

Bob Carter, Group Vice President and General Manager - Toyota Division stated the lagging effects of the Japanese earthquake were yesterday's news and predicted a banner year for Toyota in 2012. Mr. Carter shared that Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. would be launching a new or designed Toyota, Scion or Lexus vehicle every 19 days in 2012.

Jim Farley, Group Vice President, Global Marketing, Sales and Service at Ford Motor Company spoke to the challenge of reinventing the Lincoln brand and to the importance of global vehicle platforms. Mr. Farley stated Ford's objective is to ensure 85% of Ford products in 2013 be built on just nine platforms.

This year's event also included remarks from General Motor's Vice Chairman Steve Girsky and Hyundai Motor America President and CEO John Krafcik. It was clear from everyone that took the stage at World Congress that 2012 would be the year of the product launch and from my research, product launches aid in increasing both sales and owner loyalty. There is no doubt that the U.S. auto industry is refreshed and revitalized, great news for an industry that has been through so much the last few years.

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