WASHINGTON—Nine international automakers have formed the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM), the successor organization to the American Automobile Manufacturers Association (AAMA). Members include the three former members of the AAMA—General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and the former Chrysler Corp., which recently merged with Daimler Benz to become DaimlerChrysler AG.
That merger rang the death knell for the AAMA, itself the successor to the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association. Detroit's Big Three automakers formed the AAMA as a bulwark of U.S.-nameplate companies, but its purpose was canceled out with the Chrysler merger.
Nevertheless, it was not so much global mergers as issues of mutual global interest—such as standards harmonization—which motivated automakers to form the AAM, said Peter Pestillo, the new group's chairman.
``The formation of this group recognizes the huge amount of change we're seeing in the industry,'' Mr. Pestillo said at a recent press conference announcing the AAM's founding. ``Our hope—and our goal—is to work together on public policy matters of common interest to develop constructive approaches and to work with government and other stakeholders to find sensible, effective and economically viable solutions.''
Mr. Pestillo, vice chairman of Ford, formerly served as vice president-corporate and employee relations for B.F. Goodrich Co. in the days when BFG still made tires.
While there are no plans to offer AAM membership to any companies except automakers, Mr. Pestillo said the organization will consult tire makers and other auto industry suppliers on standards harmonization and other important issues.
Besides the Big Three, AAM members include BMW, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo. All of these companies will continue their membership in the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers.
Donald B. Shea, president of the Rubber Manufacturers Association, congratulated the automakers on forming the AAM.
``With global harmonization a major initiative in the tire and rubber industry as well as the automotive industry today, the launching of a specialized group such as the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers makes good sense and will no doubt help advance the issues unique to that industry,'' Mr. Shea said in a prepared statement.
Mr. Pestillo said the AAM plans to fund independent scientific and technological research to help its decision-making, but gave no further details.