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CARY, N.C. — S&A Cherokee, the publishers of Auto Remarketing and SubPrime Auto Finance News, announced today that Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, Ford's chief economist, will serve as the keynote speaker for the Automotive Economic Forecast & Financial Forum.

Hughes-Cromwick's role with Ford is to oversee the corporate economics and strategic issues group at the automaker. She has responsibility for the company's global automotive industry analysis and forecasts, which are used to support planning.

Her group's responsibilities also cover economic policy analysis, exchange rate forecasts and other factors vital to the automotive and financial sectors.

Before joining Ford, Hughes-Cromwick worked in banking and academia. She also served as a staff economist on the President's Council of Economic Advisers.

The forum will be held May 10-11 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile.

Registration is available online at www.automotiveforecastforum.com. The site also offers hotel and travel information, sponsorship details, the latest news about the conference and agenda information.

Attendees who register for the conference before April 12 will receive the early bird registration rate of $695. After that time, the cost to register goes up to $795.

The event is designed for automotive industry executives, banking and finance industry executives, allied industry executives, dealer group executives, supplier and aftermarket executives, economists, and analysts from a broad spectrum of new and pre-owned automotive sales, manufacturing, leasing, financing and aftermarket arenas.

In addition to Hughes-Cromwick, other speakers announced include:

—Mark Vitner, managing director and senior economist, Wells Fargo Securities.

—William Strauss, senior economist and economic adviser, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

—Sudarshan Mhartre, senior analyst, PricewaterhouseCoopers, AutoFacts.

—Bernard Swiecki, director of market analysis, Center for Automotive Research.

The speaker list continues to grow, according to Bill Zadeits, associate publisher and co-chair of the conference.

"We couldn't be more excited to have Ellen join our first foray into a conference that is not solely focused on the pre-owned segment of the industry" said Zadeits. "Our list of speakers is a stellar lineup of executives who can help us gain a look at what is coming for our industry.

"The pre-owned marketplace is an important one and will certainly be included, but we're broadening the scope of this conference to examine the entire automotive industry, where it is headed and what the expectations are for the rest of 2010 and beyond," he added.

S&A Cherokee also owns the Pre-Owned Automobile Dealers Alliance. More on this alliance can be found at www.poada.biz.

For more information about the Automotive Economic Forecast & Financial Forum, contact Marilu McQuilkin, director of meetings and events, at (800) 608-7500, ext. 143 or mmcquilkin@sacherokee.com.