TRAVERSE CITY, Mich.-- The Automotive Industry Action Group has its first permanent executive director in Andrew Cummins, and the organization will expand its board of directors next week with the addition of a fifth automaker.
This is the first time the organization has hired a permanent executive director, a move to bring some continuity to AIAGs leadership. Cummins officially started the job on Monday, Aug. 4.
In July, AIAG added Gene Tabor of Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America Inc. to its board of directors, the first non-Big 3 automaker represent on the groups board.
On Wednesday, Aug. 13, the organization will add Honda of America Manufacturing Inc. to the current 23-member board.
Cummins, formerly vice president of corporate communications for Oxford Automotive, a Tier 1 supplier of specialized metal-formed modules and assemblies, said he wants to raise the awareness of the group.
I think youre going to see more projects completed on time and in that way youre going to see more communications from AIAG on what were doing, Cummins said in an interview yesterday at the Management Briefing Seminars. Were going to raise the awareness of activities at AIAG by a great deal.
The not-for-profit group of automakers, suppliers and technology companies collaborate on projects that benefit the industry as a whole. Collaboration is a theme at this years Management Briefing Seminars. AIAG has used loaned personnel from the automakers and suppliers to work together.
Survival in this automotive environment will require greater collaboration, said Kevin Mixer, automotive research director at AMR Research of Boston.
Last year at the conference, automakers and suppliers talked about catching Toyota, Mixer said.
This year its all about survival and how do we work together to survive – a very different theme, Mixer said. A lot of positive things are coming out of that too. I think that youll see a lot of groups working together, certainly in some standardization, and also hopefully a lot of tool vendors are also coming to play.
Cummins replaces Linda Plawecki, an executive on loan from Ford Motor Co. Plawecki served as purchasing manager for Fords Powertrain Machinery and Tooling organization.
The executive director position, with the hiring of Cummins, now is a permanent job.
Thats really significant, Plawecki said. When you rotate in a position every year, you dont have the continuity to really take the organization to the next level and be ahead of the game. Youre more in a reaction role. So a permanent executive director is a major step that is truly moving the organization in a new direction.