Last August, the Automotive Industry Action Group hit a milestone in membership, welcoming its 1,500th new member into the AIAG community. Today, just seven months later, the association celebrates another accomplishment: surpassing the 2,000 member mark.
“Achieving 2,000 members is a great sign that the value of the standards and best practices created by the industry for the industry at AIAG are gaining even more recognition of the value they provide the entire automotive supply chain,” says David A. Lalain, AIAG’s vice president, member services. “Of course, the true benefit is only realized when these standards and best practices are utilized by the entire industry, from the OEMs and Tier Ones to the Tier Twos and beyond. More and more companies are realizing that membership makes it easier for them to access the tools they need to work at their best and keep current on the latest industry developments.”
Nancy Malo, an AIAG membership manager, notes that current members have played a significant role in continuing the upswing in the AIAG member community. “Reaching 2,000 member companies was achieved with help from our existing, dedicated members who consistently communicate AIAG’s value to their sub-tier supply base, and we thank them for that,” she says. “In fact, our larger members believe so strongly in the work the industry does at AIAG that they’re sponsoring 5-year memberships for smaller suppliers who qualify. They want the entire industry to improve as a whole through the best practices developed at AIAG,” says Malo.
Kathryn LaFerle, also an AIAG membership manager, notes that AIAG’s work to revitalize the sub-tier supply base has contributed to this latest membership milestone. “We are particularly focused on attracting and servicing the needs of emerging automotive professionals,” she says. For example, those new to the industry enjoy monthly Future Automotive Experts meetings, which feature a talk by an automotive expert followed by Q&A and networking. Topics include quality, leadership, and how to grow a career in automotive.
“The popularity of these meetings has grown dramatically because they give new automotive professionals access to successful industry experts,” says LaFerle. “And the experts get a lot out of it as well because they engage with the industry’s rising talent.”
The AIAG membership team points to the recent rise in automotive professionals, supported by the revitalization of college-level and adult continuing education programs with real-world automotive industry content. AIAG is also working hard to attract minority-owned businesses and collaborate with sister organizations in the Southeast U.S., Canada, and Mexico to support increasing demand for local sources of advanced manufacturing skills.
Scot Sharland, AIAG’s executive director, adds that as AIAG drives awareness, access, and utilization of industry standards and allied best practices across the industry, the natural result is a growing number of automotive companies interested in joining the movement. “Together, we are mitigating risk and managing uncertainty for all of the automotive supply chain,” says Sharland. “Our rapidly growing membership is thriving due to self-assessments, best practices, standards, and training, which is resulting in more predictable manufacturing outcomes.”