SOURCE: Automotive Jobs Action Coalition

August 23, 2007 11:22 ET

National Grassroots Coalition Launched to Promote Automotive Jobs in the U.S. -- Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY, MO--(Marketwire - August 23, 2007) - Today, business leaders from across the United States announced the formation of the Automotive Jobs Action Coalition (AJAC), a campaign to preserve the millions of automotive related jobs throughout the nation, promote customer choice and protect consumer safety. AJAC represents over 100,000 businesses around the nation.

Nearly 30 chambers of commerce and business associations from around the country are supporting AJAC. The campaign is in response to recent efforts in Congress to arbitrarily raise Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations to unachievable levels that threaten American jobs.

"Excessive increases in fuel economy standards puts Missouri automobile manufacturers, in particular, at an unfair competitive advantage to foreign manufacturers because it is Missouri manufacturing plants that make the very trucks that would be forced out of the market under the new standards being considered," said Daniel P. Mehan, AJAC member and president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "More than 50 percent of the vehicles Missouri-based automobile manufacturers sell are trucks and over 36,000 Missourians are employed by SUV, truck and van manufacturers and connected industries with an average wage of $54,000. Clearly, this unfair increase in standards will cost many Missourians their jobs."

"Despite recent challenges in the U.S. automotive industry, it is interesting to note that more than 14,000 St. Louis area workers are employed in auto-related manufacturing, and those 14,000 jobs support another 34,000 jobs throughout the 16-county, bi-state region," said Richard C.D. Flemming, president and CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association. "The total economic impact of the St. Louis region's auto and parts manufacturing sector is some $12 billion annually."

AJAC's mission is to raise awareness among policy makers about the real costs associated with extreme increases in CAFE standards. Those costs include jeopardizing jobs in the U.S., limiting consumer choice and undermining automotive safety.

"The coalition supports aggressive standards for fuel efficiency," said Richard E. Blouse Jr., AJAC member and president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. "However, the goals have to be reasonable and achievable, protect American jobs and give consumers more choices."

The coalition is advocating for research and development as a means to promote better energy efficiency in cars and trucks. It supports accelerating the availability of advanced technologies and alternative fuels, such as hybrid vehicles and ethanol, to achieve greater fuel economy and cleaner environmental conditions.

"The best way to obtain better fuel efficiency is to allow auto companies to invest in research and development to find alternative sources of energy and new technologies for vehicles," said William L. Kovacs, Vice President of Environment, Technology and Regulatory Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and an AJAC member.

About AJAC

AJAC is a grassroots coalition, representing over 100,000 businesses from around the United States, that is concerned about the negative impact arbitrary increases for fuel economy standards would have on the 2.3 million automotive related jobs in America. AJAC is working to educate policymakers about alternatives to extreme increases in the CAFE standards.

AJAC Members

Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce
Delaware State Chamber of Commerce
Detroit Regional Chamber
Erie County Chamber of Commerce
Forward Janesville, Inc.
Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce
Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce
Greater Louisville Inc.
Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce
Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce
Illinois Chamber of Commerce
Indiana Chamber of Commerce
Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce
Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
Louisiana Association of Business & Industry
Macomb County Chamber of Commerce
Michigan Chamber of Commerce
Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Ohio Chamber of Commerce
Rockford Chamber of Commerce
South Carolina Chamber of Commerce
St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association
St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce
Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce

Contact Information

  • Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry
    Karen Buschmann
    Phone: 573-634-3511

    St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association
    Gary Broome
    Phone: 314-444-1171