As one of the newly appointed AIAG board members, Robert Kinchen, director of administration, facilities, marketing and sales, supplier diversity, and Monozukuri for Nissan North America, will apply his insights and experience within human resource management to help the automotive industry address the challenge of attracting and retaining the best young talent.
More than 20 executives from the automotive and transportation OEM and supplier community currently serve on the AIAG board, representing a cross-section of its member companies.
During his tenure on the AIAG board, Kinchen would like to see AIAG focus on helping the auto industry understand how to recruit and retain Millennial and young talent. “I’ve faced it in my company, and I know others have experienced the same challenge, so it’s become a personal passion of mine,” he says. “If people truly are our most important resource and asset, then recruiting and retaining the best people should be one of the auto industry’s most important priorities. Without the best people, we cannot be the best industry.”
With over 27 years of automotive experience with Nissan, Kinchen’s leadership roles include work in supply chain, human resources, purchasing, and continuous improvement. “AIAG has been a constant thread through many people’s careers,” he says. “My own skills and competencies, as well as those of my team, have developed by collaborating with those who understand the industry’s foundation and where we are trying to go in the future. AIAG helps companies learn to make systematic improvements, determine the proper milestones, and establish accountability.”
Within purchasing, Kinchen worked in multiple production parts teams, service and support, and administration. He also has oversight for teams in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.
“I’m supporting AIAG through service on the board because AIAG is relevant and encompasses such a diverse group of companies,” Kinchen says. “Its board, volunteers, and core group of contributors are important to the industry. AIAG also is one of the most organized and well-structured automotive associations I’ve seen. AIAG does what it says it’s going to do.”