The auto business in Eastern Europe will be the focus of a four-day programme of conferences and seminars in January in Warsaw with presentations by 40 experts and industry leaders from the fast-growing region.

The programme, AUTOCEE2001, will attract nearly 200 participants, the biggest gathering of auto executives in the former communist bloc, according to the event's organiser Worldwide Business Research Ltd (WBR) of London.

"AUTOCEE2001 will present the best chance in all of next year to exchange ideas, make contacts and learn about developments in the auto industry in Eastern Europe," Stephen Butler, director of WBR's automotive practice, said. "Newcomers as well as veterans to the region will discover a variety of invaluable opportunities."

The main sessions on January 24-25 will centre on the advanced economies of Central Europe, including four markets slated to joint the European Union - Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia. Speeches by automakers and their parts suppliers, plus noted observers, will touch on key aspects of building and selling vehicles in the region.

To augment the core proceedings, panels will be convened on commercial vehicles, e-commerce, parts procurement and regional strategies amid a globalising industry.

Attendees will be able to pursue individualised discussions with each other at dedicated dinners and lunches plus champagne roundtables and coffee breaks.

On January 23, a seminar will highlight marketing and retailing trends in Eastern Europe with discussions of brand development, dealer networks and sales statistics.

On January 26, a forum will explore prospects and risks in Russia, the biggest country in the world on the rebound from an economic crisis of 1998. Major plans of domestic and foreign automakers will be detailed with attention paid to possibilities for international suppliers to invest there.

Over the four days, speakers will include representatives from: automakers AvtoVAZ, Dacia, DaimlerChrysler, Fiat, Ford, GAZ, General Motors, Ikarus, Raba, Renault, Suzuki and Volkswagen; suppliers Continental, Delphi, JohnsonControls, Mannesmann, TRW, Venture and Visteon; consultancies Deloitte & Touche, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Russian Automotive Components; information services just-auto.com, Marketing Systems and SAMAR; and online enterprises Automarket.pl, Covisint, FreeMarkets, TecCom and Teklogix.

Ryan James Tutak, associate editor of just-auto.com, will chair the forum on Russia.

For information, contact WBR:
E autocee@wbr.co.uk
F +44-207 / 759-9001
T +44-207 / 759-9000
W www.wbresearch.com/autocee