The newly formed Alliance for Automotive Innovation was created by the merging of two prominent auto industry trade groups, Global Automakers and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. This new entity's main goal is to speed advancement in transportation through stakeholder engagement, greater public understanding and public policy.

"In today's rapidly changing policy environment, it is more important than ever that the auto industry speaks with one, unified voice."

"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," said John Bozzella, CEO of the new organization and former CEO of Global Automakers. "This is an incredibly exciting development for auto at the intersection of policy and innovation," Bozzella said. "It's really the first time in the history of the auto industry that we've been able to really bring together in one association all of the auto manufacturers that develop, design, innovate and sell and service cars and trucks in the United States."

The combined entity will develop policy for reducing emissions, safety technology and expanding electrification, he added. Global Automakers, which represents the U.S. operations of foreign-based manufacturers, and the Auto Alliance, which counts BMW Group, Mercedex-Bena and the Detroit 3, among its other members, have spent many years joining forces to tackle policy issues.

"All of these innovations require a stable policy framework," said Bozzella. "That's what the Alliance for Automotive Innovation is all about."

The Alliance for Automotive Innovation has about 20 members, Bozzella said. General Motors Co. is the chairing company of the group's board. David Schwietert, who led the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, will serve as chief policy officer of the new group.

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"The speed of this transformation in our industry is breathtaking," Bozzella said. "Unity of purpose, alignment and cooperation will really help us continue to move quickly. The speed of innovation really requires a more nimble approach to policymaking. We think we're going to do that with this new association."

"As the industry is undergoing rapid transformation it is critical that we come together with a stronger voice," said GM CEO, Mary Barra. "We look forward to working together as we advocate for policies that will drive us into a new era of mobility and help us reach our vision of zero emissions, zero crashes and zero congestion."

The new association represents a broader auto portfolio than its predecessors, and in addition to automakers, technology companies, tier 1 suppliers, and new entrants to the mobility space can also be members. Staffs from both organizations will remain part of the combined entity, and the new alliance wants to recruit new employees to help in the technology and innovation areas of public policy. 

When there is agreement, the alliance will be involved with trade issues, but for the most part, trade issues will continue to be addressed by other associations, including the American Automotive Policy Council and Here for America.

"In today's rapidly changing policy environment, it is more important than ever that the auto industry speaks with one, unified voice," said Michael Cole, president of Kia Motors America, a member of the new alliance. "The purpose of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation is to do just that."

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Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today

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