Top Auto Groups Combine in Major Industry Merger

The members of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Global Automakers will join forces as the Alliance for Automotive Innovation. The new group will represent nearly every major automaker in the world.

The auto industry is shifting into a new gear this week in a move that brings the global sector together in a single trade group.

The industry’s two largest associations, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Global Automakers, announced Wednesday that they will merge to form the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which will represent nearly every carmaker that sells vehicles in the United States.

Previously, AAM members included the “big three” Detroit carmakers and several major foreign ones, and Global Automakers represented the U.S. operations of automakers based in other countries. There was little overlap among the two groups’ members, with the exception of Toyota, which belonged to both.

Former Global Automakers President and CEO John Bozzella will lead the combined association, while AAM’s former leader, David Schwietert, will serve as chief policy officer.

“As the singular, clear, and respected voice of the automotive industry, it will be the role of this organization to help guide our members and partners through the exciting technological advances and transitions in the industry,” Bozzella said in a news release. “With deep industry roots and expertise, we will be the voice that advocates for policies supporting our industry’s efforts to develop cleaner, safer, and smarter mobility options for the American public.”

The group will focus on automotive innovations like sensing and imaging technologies, artificial intelligence implementations, and car connectivity, according to the release.

The new group has adopted an expanded membership model.  In addition to automakers, other players in the space—including suppliers, technology companies, and startups—will be invited to join, Crain’s Detroit Business reported.

The new alliance is building on a past collaboration, the Detroit Free Press noted. Last year, AAM and Global Automakers worked together  on a safety initiative to add rear-seat reminder systems to vehicles by 2025 to ensure that children and pets are not accidentally locked in hot cars.

“That’s the kind of work that a unified industry can do as efficiently or more so than we’ve been able to do in the past,” Bozzella said.

(Traimak_Ivan/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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