Normandy Development, an economic development agency for both the Upper Normandy and Lower Normandy regions of northwestern France, will move its North American headquarters from Atlanta to Chicago on Saturday, May 1.

According to Christophe Caron, Normandy Development’s project manager for North America, the agency’s move is prompted by a decision to be closer to Midwest automotive manufacturers and suppliers as well as the industry’s decision makers.

Mr. Caron told GlobalAtlanta that Georgia’s growing automotive market included numerous suppliers, but that industry decisions continue to be made in the Midwest.

He said that Normandy’s automotive sector is second to its food business in terms of regional employment.

The region is home to Renault S.A. and Peugeot S.A. facilities and many of their suppliers.

Normandy Development set up its office at the Consulate General of France in Atlanta in May 2002 because of Atlanta’s reputation as a fast-growing economic center in the Southeast, Mr. Caron said.

He said that he would remain in charge of Normandy’s economic development initiatives in the Southeast and that he would return for the French American Chamber of Commerce’s 19th annual Passport to France event in Atlanta on Saturday, May 8.

The gala event is to highlight the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings on Normandy’s beaches.

Mr. Caron may be reached by email at