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First SAE Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress and Exhibition in Chicago Draws Enthusiastic Response

Warrendale, PA, Nov. 2, 2004 - The first annual Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress and Exhibition, hosted by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), was a huge success, exceeding all projections in registration and number of exhibitors. The show drew more than 3,000 attendees and 165 exhibitors in 31,000 square feet of space. For the first time, the SAE conference brought together, engineers, suppliers and manufacturers in the truck and bus industry and those in the off-highway and agricultural machinery sector. The event was held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, Oct. 26-28.

"Industry support for SAE's combined Commercial Vehicle event was outstanding," said Dee Kapur, the event's Executive Chair and President of the Truck Group at International Truck and Engine Corp. "Many of the attendees expressed their satisfaction with the combined on- and off-highway format and recognized the added value." Almost 2,300 SAE members and non-members pre-registered for the event.

The number of exhibitors who displayed vehicles and related products during the three-day Commercial Vehicle event was significantly higher than expected. Visitors found more than 160 different suppliers from around the world displaying a wide spectrum of advanced technologies. The exhibition also featured New Product Showcases - special venues that allow for more detailed product presentations.

"Many suppliers had told us that there is an industry-wide need for more person-to-person contact with potential buyers," said Herb Kaufman, Director of the Commercial Vehicle Business at SAE. "Our goal with the Commercial Vehicle event was to help meet that need right now and we will continue to do so in the coming years."

Kaufman further said that SAE had organized the Commercial Vehicle event primarily as a networking and learning opportunity for industry professionals. "The ability for engineers to meet with their peers went well beyond a quick 'Hello' on the exhibition floor," he explained. "We set aside special times throughout the event for engineers to get to know each other and be able to discuss topics of common interest." For example, the "strolling buffet" at the Industry Banquet allowed attendees to mingle while enjoying a variety of Chicago fare. Joanne Bischmann, Vice President of Marketing for Harley-Davidson Inc. was the featured banquet speaker. She talked about branding of the world-famous motorcycle.

Besides exhibits, the Commercial Vehicle event featured numerous technical sessions and guest lectures on a variety of current issues. Panel discussions on heavy-duty diesel technology and emissions regulations at the Dana Technology Theater were some of the most popular activities among show attendees. On Wednesday, Jeffrey Holmstead, Assistant Administrator for Air & Radiation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was the featured speaker at the Dana Technology Theater.

As a result of the event's success and positive industry feedback, SAE plans to make this an annual event. In 2005, Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress and Exhibition will once again be held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, Nov. 1-3.

For more information on the Society of Automotive Engineers, please call SAE World Headquarters at (724) 776-4841 or visit the SAE Web site at

SAE is a non-profit engineering and scientific organization dedicated to the advancement of mobility technology to better serve humanity. Nearly 85,000 engineers and scientists who are SAE members develop technical information on all forms of self-propelled vehicles, including automobiles, aircraft, aerospace craft, trucks, buses, marine, rail and transit machinery. This information is disseminated through SAE meetings, books, electronic products and databases, technical papers, standards, reports, and professional development programs.