The course came to a safe conclusion with the final week including a visit to Metalsa, a heavy truck rail manufacturer in Roanoke, and meetings with W&L alumnus Bill Cosgrove ’67, a retired Ford SVP who sits on Metalsa’s board.
On a personal end, I was off to the airport immediate from the final class to St Louis (a family event) and then on to the Industry Studies Association meetings in Minneapolis, where I made two presentations. Less than 48 hours after returning from the ISA it was off to Puebla Mexico for the annual GERPISA auto industry research conference. The latter included a day at the VW Puebla assembly plant and the not-quite-completed Audi plant located nearby. There were also 3 days of papers and panels on the auto industry, including an opening keynote by Sue Helper, whose PhD research comprised part of the influential <em>Machine That Changed the World</em>, two presentations by myself, and a concluding panel that included the [Mexican] head of purchasing for Ford, the head of exports for Nissan, the well-known VP for Corporate Relations at VW and the president of the Mexican auto industry association. Oh, and Thomas Klier, one of our on-campus speakers, was part of a panel the second day on the new geography, which included speakers from Brazil and Germany.
Anyway, now that I’m starting to recover from travels (Puebla is at an altitude of 7200 feet and in a different time zone), slowed by returning to an office that had flooded in the downpours that hit the Shenandoah Valley), I’ll resume blogging at Autos and Economics on blogspot. As per past practice, I will selectively repost student contributions on this blog.