North & South America

Webinar: Tennessee – opportunities for UK automotive

19 May 2021

Tennessee – the beating heart of the southern automotive corridor

With near 1,000 automotive suppliers in the state of Tennessee, 3 OEMs (Nissan, General Motors and Volkswagen) and more than three quarters of all US markets located within a day’s drive, the US state of Tennessee is one that UK suppliers should consider when looking to the US market.  

Listen back to hear from Volkswagen Group of America, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and Department for International Trade USA about the opportunities for UK suppliers in this exciting US market. 

Click here to listen back.


  1. Introduction (SMMT)
  2. US context (Sarah Banks, Vice Consul, Advanced Engineering – Southeast, Department for International Trade USA)
  3. Tennessee
    • Tennessee’s Automotive Offer (Chassen Haynes, Director, TNECD)
    • Case study from Volkswagen Group of America (Martin Ross, Senior Manager Purchasing Strategy,  Volkswagen Group of America)
    • How TNECD Can Help (Adam Breeze, Director (UK), TNECD)
  4. Q&A (all)

Speaker Bios


Sarah Banks, Vice Consul, Advanced Engineering – Southeast –  Department for International Trade USA 

Sarah Banks is Vice Consul, Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing for the UK’s Dept. for International Trade (DIT). She is based out of the British Consulate-General in Atlanta and supports the trade and investment objectives of advanced manufacturing companies across the UK, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, and North Carolina. A Georgia native, Sarah has been covering aerospace for DIT in Atlanta for the past three years, adding automotive to her portfolio earlier this year. Sarah joined DIT following her work in the Southern Economic Development council and BBA from the University of Georgia.  


Adam Breeze, Director of Business Development (UK and Ireland) – Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development 

Adam Breeze is the Director of Business Development (UK and Ireland) for TNECD and is based in Manchester. Adam has worked on more than a hundred foreign direct investment projects over the last 25 years and has held senior roles in economic development agencies and major advisory firms working on automotive expansions with companies including BMW and Aurrigo, working with the UK Department for International Trade and SMMT. 


Chassen Haynes, Director of Business Development – Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development 

Chassen Haynes has served as Director of Business Development with the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development since 2014. While at the State of Tennessee, Chassen has focused on recruitment efforts in Automotive and Aerospace & Defense sectors, landing over 40 projects which represent more than 16,000 new jobs for Tennesseans and over $4B in capital investment in Tennessee. Notable clients throughout his tenure have included Amazon, Facebook, Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors, Volkswagen and 3M. In 2019, Chassen received the Governor’s Excellence in Service Award, and has been recognized as one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers in 2020.


Marty Ross, Senior Manager of Purchasing Strategy for the North American Region Purchasing Organisaton  – Volkswagen Group of America 

Marty Ross is Senior Manager of Purchasing Strategy for the North American Region Purchasing Organization and joined Volkswagen Group of America in 2012. Martin has the responsibility to lead the organization on strategic topics such as trade compliance, reducing CO2 in the supply chain, and driving sustainable cost performance in the region.

Prior to joining Volkswagen, Marty spent 10 years at Honda Motor Company, holding several positions in Procurement, including New Projects Manager for Honda’s light-truck development.

Marty holds a Bachelor degree in Aviation Management from Auburn University and a Master degree in Business Administration from Florida State University.

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