Automotive News All Stars
GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: Matt Blunt and Ivan Hodac, President and former secretary-general, American Automotive Policy Council and European Automobile Manufacturers' Association
Finding consensus among rival automakers isn't easy. But when free trade rose to the top of the agenda in Washington and Brussels, Blunt (pictured far left) and Hodac found a way.
Blunt, 43, is head of a lobbying group for Ford, GM and Chrysler. Hodac, 67, was the European automakers' top lobbyist from 2001 until his retirement this fall.
In early 2013, when businesses were asked to weigh in on a proposed U.S.-EU trade deal, Hodac and Blunt took the rare step of submitting joint comments that listed all the regulations their members felt could be aligned.
The move showed that after decades of lobbying for barriers at the border to harm their rivals, U.S. and EU automakers were ready to compete on the basis of their cars. Even if the trade talks peter out, Hodac and Blunt showed how the common interests of the industry can trump the interests of its individual participants.