Germany Economic Development Mission To Be Fueled by Upstate Alliance, BMW Manufacturing, and Clemson University

Major Mission Timing Will Be Shifted to April 04 for Maximum Impact

Upstate, South Carolina-September 16, 2003 — Upstate Alliance officials convened with economic development partners BMW Manufacturing Corp. and Clemson University in targeting April 2004 as the optimum time-frame for a high profile Upstate South Carolina Economic Development Mission to Germany. Participation by the SC Department of Commerce is also anticipated. It was mutually determined that timing of the strategic European Mission - that will include a major economic development event in Munich - occurring between the Detroit SAE Automotive Supplier Show in March and the BMW Charity Pro-Am in early May, creates an unparalleled opportunity for the Upstate to achieve the strongest results marketing the region to the technology-driven German automotive sector as plans for a world-class research center in the Upstate continue to unfold. Alliance President & CEO, Sam Konduros stated & quot;Upstate Alliance is excited by this unique opportunity to formally partner with BMW and Clemson University in presenting the powerful automotive story of the Upstate to the German and European automotive industries - especially as our dynamic marketing message expands dramatically to include elements of research & development that will take our region to the next level." Robert Hitt, BMW Manufacturing Corps. Manager for Media and Public Affairs, and an Upstate Alliance Board Member, said "Moving the economic development mission to April will allow the partners to create an even stronger strategy for building relationships between Upstate South Carolina and automotive industries in Germany. Timing is an essential factor in building new partnerships, and this shift in dates will work to our advantage& quot;. Clemson University President James Barker, who serves as an Honorary Board member for the Upstate Alliance, commented & quot;Clemson is excited to be a partner in efforts to enhance the automotive industry in South Carolina. Research universities can play a critical role in economic development by providing a knowledgeable work force and research capability. At Clemson, we have identified automotive engineering as an area where we intend to grow and to build a nationally recognized program, which supports the goals of this upcoming economic development mission.& quot; Konduros returned Tuesday from spearheading a marketing trip to Germany and the Frankfurt Auto Show, where he and Upstate business leaders Doug Harper and Steve Navarro met with active leads, prospects, and German officials. Konduros confirmed that the completed September 10-16 recruiting trip will likely be followed by another targeted marketing trip to Germany in November & quot;as we build the foundation for an unprecedented Upstate economic development mission to Germany in April.& quot; & quot;Timing is a critical element in marketing to achieve the greatest velocity and results for our counties, cities, and business investors. We are fortunate to align with BMW and Clemson in planning a high energy Mission to Germany in April. Spring 2004 will be the best time to achieve the highest level of return on marketing investment, and will strongly compliment the Alliances third annual showing at the Detroit-based SAE Automotive Show in March and hosting of prospects and site consultants at the BMW Charity Pro-Am in May.& quot; The Alliance will aggressively market and nurture strategic business relations with Germany and European automotive technology companies over the coming weeks in preparation for the major Spring Mission. The Upstate Alliance is a public/private regional economic development organization designed to market South Carolinas Upstate and its 10 counties - Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg, Union. The 10 counties represent the commerce-rich northwestern corner of South Carolina, including the I-85 corridor and the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson metropolitan area. Additional information is available through the Alliances web site, www.upstatealliance.com. ###

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