Two top automotive lobbying groups joined forces last week to create a new voice for the industry: the Alliance for Automotive Innovation.
The new association will develop policy for safety technology, reducing emissions and expanding electrification. It’s the result of a merger between Global Automakers, which represents the U.S. operations of foreign-based manufacturers, and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which counts the Detroit 3, BMW Group and Mercedes-Benz among its members. Toyota Motor Corp. belonged to both groups, which have long worked together on policy issues.
“The speed of this transformation in our industry is breathtaking. Unity of purpose, alignment and cooperation will really help us continue to move quickly,” said John Bozzella, CEO of the new organization and former CEO of Global Automakers.
David Schwietert, who led the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, is chief policy officer of the new group.
Bozzella spoke with Staff Reporter Hannah Lutz. Here are edited excerpts of their conversation.
Q: What was the impetus for this merger?
A: For almost a generation now, you’ve had two very successful trade associations that have created the framework and the foundation that will allow us to move forward. Now is an opportunity to not only work together but build on that foundation and really unify with a single purpose.
How will you speed up policy development?
We have a lot of insight and a lot of perspective and a lot of talent in the member companies that sit around our board table. When we take all of that talent and perspective and insight and align it around a single purpose, we think we can move more quickly. In addition to that, we will be working with regard to developing stronger relationships and more engagement with policymakers both in Washington and in states around the country.
How will the group approach trade and investment issues?
The trade and investment issues are likely going to continue to be addressed through other associations, notably the American Automotive Policy Council and Here for America. The work that global automakers did on behalf of international manufacturers and suppliers is being spun out into [Here for America]. That will be a separate organization that will launch concurrently with this one.