Health Care Costs Continue As Major Challenge For U.S. Automotive Suppliers According To New Survey

ANN ARBOR, Mich., July 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Health care costs for automotive suppliers are rising and potential solutions to contain these costs will be the central focus of a Thursday, Aug. 4 session of the 2005 Management Briefing Seminars (MBS). The annual seminars, directed by the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), take place this year Aug. 1-5 at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa near Traverse City, Mich. The seminars are offered in cooperation with the University of Michigan.

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"U.S. auto suppliers, who employ eight out of 10 workers in U.S. auto manufacturing, are now paying 60 percent more for employee health care than five years ago," said Sean McAlinden, CAR's vice president of research and co- chairman of the session. "They can expect their health costs to rise an additional 60% by 2010, unless solutions are implemented."

The research results are from a survey of suppliers, funded by the Ernst & Young Global Automotive Center, that indicates despite a wide range of efforts from better purchasing leverage over health care vendors to employee cost sharing, suppliers continue to expect double-digit annual health care inflation through 2010. Thirty-seven member companies from the Original Equipment Suppliers Association were surveyed.

"Health care expenditures will remain an important competitive issue for suppliers," said David Andrea, vice president of business development, OESA, and the other co-chair of the session. "The suppliers are stepping up their efforts to better manage their purchased health care services, asking their employees to share coverage, and looking for alternative models such as association programs."

Session panelists include:

* Michael Bakerman, National Industry Leader for Quality Initiatives, Ernst & Young, LLP, Health Sciences Advisory Group

* Paul Conlon, Senior Vice President, Clinical Quality and Patient Safety, Trinity Health

* Mark Gaffney, President, AFL-CIO Michigan

* Robert Paul, CEO & President, Covisint LLC

* Charles Roehrig, Vice President, Altarum Institute and Deputy Director, Altarum's Health Solutions Division

* Theresa Skotak, Vice President, Human Resources, DURA Automotive Systems

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2005, the Management Briefing Seminars are the not-to-be-missed gathering of more than 1,200 auto industry, academic and government leaders addressing critical issues and emerging trends within the automotive industry.

The week-long conference features targeted workshops, high-level executive panels and industry-renowned networking opportunities. Monday and Tuesday (Aug. 1-2) will include sessions highlighting manufacturing, low-volume vehicle production and changing business dynamics in the automotive supplier sector. Other sessions will cover the outlook for China and India, and advanced powertrains. The Wednesday and Thursday (Aug. 3-4) general automotive strategy sessions will focus on "Is There Calm After the Storm?" David Cole, CAR's chairman will moderate.

The Management Briefing Seminars are directed by CAR, in cooperation with the University of Michigan's Center for Professional Development and the Office for the Study of Automotive Transportation. For more information regarding MBS registration, as well as exhibit and sponsorship opportunities, contact Lisa Hart at (734) 929-0465, Email Contact or visit . Media representatives may attend at no charge; to register visit .

CONTACT: Bernie DeGroat of U-M News Service, +1-734-647-1847,
Email Contact ; or Lisa Hart of Center for Automotive Research,
+1-734-929-0465, Email Contact

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