The Association of Global Automakers and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers — the two largest automotive trade associations — are merging to form a new association that will leverage the expansive history of both organizations while creating a single, unified industry voice, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation. The new association will represent automotive and parts manufacturers who together produce nearly 99 percent of all light-duty vehicles sold in the U.S. It will focus on safely increasing the deployment of advances in personal transportation through effective public policy, stakeholder engagement, and greater public understanding.
“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,” said John Bozzella, who was named president and CEO of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation. “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.”
Globally, automakers spent more than $125 billion on R&D in 2018 alone. The industry is granted nearly 5,000 patents each year, all while meeting or exceeding hundreds of government safety and environmental regulations, per vehicle, in the U.S. With automotive technology advancing at rates unequalled since the industry’s birth, the next few years will impact the U.S. automobile industry for decades to come. New sensing and imaging technologies, advancements in artificial intelligence, and ever-increasing connectivity will make personal transportation safer, smarter and more efficient than ever — saving lives, resources, and money.
“Bringing new technologies to market requires legislative actions and a regulatory environment that allow us the freedom to innovate,” added Bozzella. “It is critical that our organization work to ensure elected officials and regulatory bodies understand how key technological improvements can help improve the health, safety and well-being of our customers, their constituents, and the ten million workers involved in the auto sector. This combined organization will help guide the industry, bringing new innovations and policies to market.”
All members of the combined associations will be part of the new organization. In addition, members have expressed interest in actively recruiting new personal mobility and technology companies, including new entrants to the auto sector focused on self-driving, electrified, and connected vehicles.
Karma Automotive, a Southern California-based high-tech mobility and luxury electric vehicles manufacturer, is the first new member of the the Alliance for Automotive Innovation. The company recently introduced its 2020 Revero GT, which features a completely redesigned aluminum base structure that contributes to the model being 357 lbs lighter than its predecessor with improved torsional stiffness. The company also introduced its SC1 Vision Concept (pictured), an all-electric roadster with an adventurous, striking design. “Karma was drawn to the newly formed Alliance for Automotive Innovation because we both recognize and embrace a future automotive landscape driven by innovation and technology; one in which partnerships with startups, academia, service providers, and developers help speed the kind of product development required to solve the personal mobility challenges we face today,” said Dr. Lance Zhou, CEO of Karma. “We look forward to adding an important technology-focused start-up voice to the Alliance’s united front and collaborating with its forward-thinking member partners.”
Ford Motor Company, which made headlines when it introduced its all-aluminum F-150 in 2014, is supportive of the associations merging. “Having led the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers before joining Ford, I have a deep belief that the auto industry succeeds when we advocate together for policies that give people the ability to move freely,” said Mitch Bainwol, chief government relations officer, Ford Motor Company. “This principle has never been more important as we work to define the future of transportation. The Alliance for Automotive Innovation will help secure America’s role as a mobility leader by tackling the challenges that come with bringing new technologies to market safely and responsibly. We give this association our full support and look forward to working hand-in-hand with our industry partners.”
Other automotive companies also spoke in favor of the new association, including General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Honda, FCA, Mazda, Kia Motors, and Toyota.