Last updated: August 24. 2013 4:22PM - 332 Views

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LIMA ó The Lima Auto Task Force will share industry expertise, play matchmaker and show off some world-class community assets with a first Regional Auto Growth Summit Sept. 6 at the University of Northwestern Ohio.

The summit will include tours of UNOHís High Performance Racing facility and presentations about the state of the auto industry from the Center for Automotive Research, based in Michigan.

The task force, chaired by Mayor David Berger, began planning for the summit in April, when the group decided to make quarterly updates from CAR available to others in a 10-county area working in the auto industry who would be interested. The task force wanted to create an initial summit, done in person, with a bit of a splash for regional auto suppliers, including the many original equipment manufacturers, said Judith Cowan, a task force member and president of Ohio Energy & Advanced Manufacturing Center Inc.

UNOH Academic Dean Andrew J. OíNeal and Berger will speak, along with Kim Hill, director of CARís Automotive Communities Program, and Sean McAlinden, CARís chief economist and vice president of research. They will be speaking about the $5.2 billion in new investments announced by OEMs and their suppliers in the northern United States and southeastern Canada.

The day will also include tours of UNOHís high performance race cars and racing trailers. Automotive companies in the region have been invited to display samples of their product or services. There will be time for networking and viewing of the displays, Cowan said.

Officials and researchers from CAR have spoken in the region previously, including as recently as the Wapakoneta Area Development Groupís annual meeting earlier this year.

The group has also presented in Lima previously.

The task force is interested in using the event for companies to network with each other, to see if they can grow their businesses by meeting each other and finding ways to collaborate. Berger created the task force several years ago to maintain development ties and support with the Ford Engine Plant and use that plant as leverage to grow the auto industry in the area.

Cost for the summit is $25, which includes lunch. Registration is through the Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce at www.limachamber.comís ďeventsĒ link. Reservations must be made by Aug. 22. For information contact Cowan at 419-230-7897.

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