"The auto industry came together in January to speak with a single voice — and that's led to a string of accomplishments that was only possible with the industry united," John Bozzella, CEO of the alliance, said in a statement to Automotive News.
At times, the diverse membership has presented a challenge for the newly formed group to align under one position. That divide has played out in an ongoing court battle over the Trump administration's efforts to stop California from setting its own emissions rules — an issue that has split automakers into two factions.
But Bozzella, who led the Association of Global Automakers before its merger with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers to create the new entity, said the group's blended membership gives it a certain advantage.
"We also, because of this, have the opportunity and a unique perspective," he said during a webinar last week. "A unique perspective that brings together this whole ecosystem to look at policies that can advance technology, but also the opportunity to build a consensus approach so that when we're engaged in the policy space that we're speaking with one voice."
Even as the industry remains split on President Donald Trump's legal battle with California over the state's authority to restrict tailpipe emissions, the alliance has vowed to work with a new administration on efforts to reduce vehicle emissions and encourage an electric-vehicle future.
"The long-term future of the auto industry is electric," Bozzella said in a statement last week after the group's semiannual board meeting.
"We recognize that regulation and policy will help set the terms for that future and that near-term regulatory issues will need to be resolved in a way that benefits the economy, the workforce and the environment," he said, adding that the alliance "looks forward to engaging with the incoming Biden administration on an aligned nationwide program to advance the shared goals of reducing emissions and realizing the benefits of an electric future."
The pledge came after General Motors withdrew its support of the Trump administration in the California lawsuit. Ford, a week after GM's announcement, urged other automakers to consider backing a framework deal with the state on vehicle emissions and move forward on a single national standard.
Any renewed efforts to tighten vehicle emissions standards and encourage EV production by the Biden administration are likely to face an uphill battle if Republicans maintain their majority in the Senate. The balance of power will be determined by runoff elections in January for both of Georgia's Senate seats.