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Automotive Futures group holds 9th Powertrain Strategies Conference

July 19, 2017


UMTRI’s Automotive Futures Group’s “Managing Global Regulatory Complexity: A Powertrain Perspective” Conference (July 19th): Please join us to discuss the role of powertrains as well as manufacturer and supplier reactions during times of regulatory changes on a global level with speakers from the UM Transportation Research Institute Automotive Futures group, Corning Incorporated, BorgWarner Inc., Bosch Gasoline Systems, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.


Ann Arbor, MI – July 19, 2017 – “Managing Global Regulatory Complexity: A Powertrain Perspective” is the theme for our 9th annual Powertrain Strategies for the 21st Century conference.  It will feature multiple speakers from manufacturing and supplying companies, as well as the federal government, who will provide their insight on how companies are adapting to changes in regulations and shed light on their respective companies’ perspectives on differing global regulations regarding fuel economy and emissions.   From the varying perspectives, we hope to offer our audience insight on what will come of the near future for emissions and fuel economy regulations across the globe, and how manufacturers and suppliers will respond.


This conference takes place as global automotive manufacturers and suppliers face numerous differing (and changing) goals put forth by governments. Be it the potential changes in CAFE or the introduction of Real Driving Emissions or the push for electric vehicles, manufacturers and suppliers must make difficult decisions about their global fleets and products. How well manufacturers and suppliers design their powertrain strategies for the near and long term may determine how successful they are locally and globally. Though light-weighting, aerodynamics, and the introduction of smaller vehicles into the fleet play a role in meeting global regulatory goals, powertrains are the clear leaders in company decision-making related to meeting those goals.


Our goal for this one-day conference is to examine the differing emissions and fuel economy regimes in the EU, US, and Asia (particularly China and Japan), and some of the strategies manufacturers and suppliers are using to meet these challenging global emissions and fuel economy regulations. Though regulations drive much of what manufacturers and suppliers do in terms of advanced powertrains, incentives to move consumers to alternative powertrains that help meet regulatory goals also play a role, especially in an era of historically low fuel prices.


We will also discuss some of the incentives governments can use to support consumer buying decisions. Several important questions on this topic will be examined. For example, how do the emissions and fuel economy regulations differ among the three major geographic regions (EU, US, and Asia (Japan and China))? How do the differing regulatory regimes affect manufacturer and supplier decision-making concerning powertrains? What can we expect to see in the near term from the different governments? What types of powertrain commonality will manufacturers and suppliers be able to introduce across all geographic regions? Are there non-monetary incentives that governments can provide that will entice consumers to purchase more fuel efficient or low emissions vehicles?


The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute’s Automotive Futures group has more than 30 years of combined research expertise and thought leadership centered on issues affecting the domestic and global automotive industries. These issues include globalization of the industry, powertrain strategies, and information technology in the form of intelligent transportation systems.  Among its activities, Automotive Futures offers an affiliate program to industry partners to support the development and exchange of knowledge. Automotive Futures researchers provide affiliates with automotive industry research and analysis, information resources, and communication forums. The team hosts the annual Focus on the Future
research conference series, which brings together university researchers and automotive industry leaders to discuss current issues and future trends.


Confirmed speakers include:

Bruce Belzowski, Managing Director, Automotive Futures, UM Transportation Research Institute, will moderate the conference and discuss
1) results from his recent Powertrain Strategies for the 21st Century survey
2) his research on Chinese electric vehicle policies
3) analysis of powertrain strategies of the nine main companies selling in the US


Tim Johnson, Director of Emerging Regulations and Technologies for Corning Environmental Technologies, Corning Incorporated, will provide a global overview of the differing emissions and fuel economy regulations as well as his opinion about where regulations are heading.


Erika Nielsen, Director, Global Government Affairs, BorgWarner Inc. will offer the perspective of a global automotive supplier on the differing regulatory regimes, and how a supplier manages the differing expectations.


Richard Kohler, Director of Marketing for the Bosch Gasoline Systems NA, will provide an overview of Bosch global operations and a review of how his company manages complex global regulations.


Bill Charmley, Director, Assessment & Standards Division, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, United States Environmental Protection Agency, will discuss the US EPA’s views on the various global emissions standards including major similarities and differences.



Bruce Belzowski

University of Michigan

Transportation Research Institute

2901 Baxter Rd

Ann Arbor, MI 49109

P: 734-255-6274

F: 734-615-4003