As AIAG celebrates 40 years this month, the association says that successful collaborations and making sure standards and best practices are accessible to the entire automotive supply chain will help the industry navigate one of the most challenging periods in its history. With the evolution of electric vehicles and unprecedented supply chain and workforce challenges, the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) is poised with 40 years of leadership experience to help the industry change, adapt, and grow.
“We are clearly at an inflection point in the evolution of automotive powertrain development,” says J. Scot Sharland, AIAG’s CEO. “Given the impact of the Great Recession, Baby Boomer retirements, and now the COVID-induced ‘great resignation,’ the industry is also facing challenges in the recruitment and retention of the next generation of talent needed to manage this transition.”
With more than 4,400 member companies, AIAG is one of the largest and most diverse global, automotive-focused OEM and supplier networks in the industry. Founded in 1982 by the three leading North American automotive OEMs, AIAG is a unique not-for-profit organization where companies in the mobility industries work collaboratively to drive down cost and complexity in the supply chain. All member companies are encouraged to donate the time of volunteers to work collaboratively at AIAG in a legal, non-competitive, open forum to develop recommendations, guidelines, and best practices. Annually, over 900 volunteers provide subject matter expertise to AIAG industry initiatives in the areas of manufacturing quality, supply chain, and corporate responsibility.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary is the perfect opportunity for AIAG to reaffirm its commitment to ensure a robust institutional knowledge transfer for the next generation of mobility professionals during this time of evolution. For example, AIAG is expanding its outreach to key colleges and universities via free student memberships, increased faculty access to industry experts, new mobility-centric curricula co-development, and ongoing content gifting. AIAG also offers young mobility professionals generous discounts on industry-developed tools and resources, as well as access to Future Automotive Expert events structured to help transfer knowledge and expertise from the current generation of industry leaders to the next.
“As the technical complexity of vehicle design has dramatically increased over the past 40 years, so has the quality, reliability and performance of the products we manufacture,” notes Sharland. “AIAG has worked with the industry to develop, curate, and deploy a foundational body of knowledge — including quality standards, tools, education and training, certifications, and best practices — to help companies of all sizes achieve more predictable manufacturing outcomes, a better bottom-line, and, most importantly, delight their customers.”
AIAG attributes its staying power over the years to collaboration and inclusiveness. In an extraordinary show of commitment, AIAG board companies pay it forward by offering free sponsored memberships to direct suppliers under $20 million in annual sales and direct diversity suppliers of any size, as well as at-risk supplier sites.
“The board’s commitment to sponsoring memberships continues to provide supply chains with pervasive access to AIAG’s collaboratively developed best practices and standards, along with e-learning, training, and special events,” says Nancy Malo, director, member services, at AIAG. “Free membership for small companies ensures that AIAG’s industry-developed standards, best practices, and tools are implemented across the entire supply chain. Recognizing the need to reduce risk for all members of the supply chain has certainly attributed to AIAG's resiliency as an organization.”
“We’re very excited about the future of our association,” says Sharland. “Over the course of the past 10 years, AIAG’s membership has increased by seven times and will continue to grow unabated because we engage the entire industry, listen to our customers, and focus on the right things.”