The Society of Automotive Analysts (SAA) will hold its annual Automotive Outlook conference on January 8, 2001 in conjunction with the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

The theme of this year's conference is "New Economy, New Politics, New Products" and the keynote speaker will be Norman Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. His topic: "New Economy, New Political Landscape, Collision Course or Peace?"

Other highlights will include panel presentations. Discussing "Flexible Capacity and Its Impact on the Bottom Line" will be Steven Girsky, managing director of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter; Michael Robinet, director of forecast services for CSM Worldwide; and Laurie Felax, vice president of Harbour and Associates.

A trio of expert automotive journalists will present "2001 NAIAS Preview: What's Hot, What's Not?" a guided tour of this year's new products and an assessment of their significance. Participants in this panel will include Paul Eisenstein, publisher of TheCarConnection.com and bureau chief, The Detroit Bureau; and Tony Swan, executive editor of Car & Driver. The panel will be moderated by noted auto analyst John McElroy of Blue Sky Productions.

"Election Aftermath: What's Next?" will examine the prospects for 2001 and beyond from three distinct perspectives. Panellists include Susan Walter, vice president of government relations for General Electric; Warren Brown of The Washington Post and Jim Mateyka, vice president in the global automotive practice of A.T.Kearney, whose focus will be on potential changes in the retail environment.

The conference will conclude with "The Leading Economists' Annual Report." This year's panel is comprised of W. Van Bussman, corporate economist for DaimlerChrysler, Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, corporate economics manager for Ford Motor Company and G. Mustafa Mohatarem, chief economist at General Motors.