WASHINGTON -- For years, Mike Stanton was the face of the Big 3 on Capitol Hill.
Starting next month, though, Stanton will head the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, which lobbies for most automakers other than the Big 3. The move reflects the steady blurring of lines between "domestic" and "foreign" car companies in the United States.
A big part of Stanton's job will be to remind elected officials and policy-makers of U.S. investment and job creation by the association's member companies, says Tim MacCarthy, who is stepping down as association president. "We don't want to be blamed for other people's problems," says MacCarthy, referring mainly to General Motors and Ford Motor Co.
As association president, Stanton will represent the interests of "the growing part of the industry," MacCarthy adds. The association has 14 automaker members. They include Honda, Nissan, Toyota and Hyundai, which have grabbed a third of the U.S. market.
Stanton most recently was vice president for government affairs at the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. He declined to be interviewed about his new job while he remains on the alliance payroll.