Chicago Automobile Trade Association

Former Democratic congressman to lead automakers alliance

November 17, 2010
Emissions, fuel economy top agenda

The biggest U.S. automakers have chosen a conservative Democrat to head their trade group, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, as Republicans prepare to turn over control of Congress.


Dave McCurdy, a former Oklahoma congressman who is president and CEO of the Electronic Industries Alliance, will become the president of the auto alliance in February. The group has previously been headed by Republican lobbyists.


"We are grateful to have someone of Dave’s experience, stature and knowledge of Washington issues lead our association at such an important time in history," said Jim Press, president of Toyota Motor North America and chairman of the alliance. "Dave is a proven bipartisan leader who has demonstrated his ability to build consensus and cooperation on key policy issues. We look forward to working with him."


McCurdy will replace outgoing alliance president and CEO Fred Webber, who is retiring.


"I’m proud of this industry’s achievements and its commitment toward fuel efficiency, safety and advanced technology," Webber said in a statement Dec. 19. "I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to work with the leaders of this important industry."

The auto alliance represents nine automakers, including General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., DaimlerChrysler AG, and Toyota Motor Corp. It also represents BMW Group, Mazda Motor Co.—which is controlled by Ford—Mitsubishi Motors Corp., Porsche and Volkswagen.


McCurdy will have his work cut out for him, with a number of hot-button auto issues expected to be debated on Capitol Hill in 2007, including automobile emissions and fuel economy regulations. He also has to keep Japan’s Toyota and Detroit’s Big Three on the same side of issues — not always an easy task.


"I’m excited to be working in an industry with so much innovation, advanced technology and that plays an integral part of our society," said McCurdy. "I look forward to addressing the challenges and opportunities facing this great industry."


McCurdy has been president of the Arlington-based electronics trade group since 1998 and previously ran his own consulting and investing group, McCurdy Group LLC.


He represented Oklahoma in the U.S. House of Representatives for 14 years ending in 1995 and headed the House Intelligence Committee. He also was chairman of a military installation and facilities subcommittee and chairman of a transportation, aviation and materials subcommittee.



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