February 01, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – The Board of Directors of the American Automotive Policy Council (AAPC) today announced the appointment of former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt as President of the trade association that represents the policy interests of American-based automakers Chrysler Group, Ford Motor and General Motors Company.

Governor Blunt replaces Steve Collins who retired in October 2010.  Charles Uthus, currently serving as Acting President will return to head up the organization’s portfolio as Vice President for Trade and International Issues.  Additionally, Debbie Dingell continues as the leader of AAPC efforts on labor relations, grassroots, and the development and management of coalitions on a range of issues, including manufacturing initiatives. Jim Doyle, former Clinton Administration senior policy advisor, has also been retained by the organization to provide strategic counsel.  AAPC’s team will continue to work, on a bipartisan basis, with all of its stakeholders to promote the unique and significant contribution of the U.S.-based auto companies to the American economy.

Blunt, 40, was elected Missouri's 54th Governor in 2004, carrying 101 of the state’s 114 counties. As Governor, he erased a $1.1 billion budget deficit, fostered a business climate that created over 70,000 new jobs, and increased education funding by $1.2 billion.   Currently, Governor Blunt acts as a senior advisor to financial and government affairs firms and serves on the Board of Directors for Copart (NASDAQ CPRT) as well as other private corporations.

In making its selection, the three AAPC member companies cited Blunt’s leadership of one the U.S.’s top automobile and component producing states.

“We are so excited that Governor Blunt has agreed to lead AAPC and to further the interests of its member companies, which are critical to the manufacturing and economic interests of the United States," said Pete Lawson, Ford Vice President of Government Relations. "He will be a tremendous asset to the organization.”

“Missouri is host to large automotive investments, and Governor Blunt worked to help bolster and strengthen the industry during the most recent economic crisis,” said Bob Ferguson, GM Vice President for Government Relations.  “He fundamentally understands the importance of American manufacturing to a growing economy.”

“Governor Blunt knows firsthand the significant contribution of auto manufacturing to America’s economic prospects.” said Kathleen Hennessey, AAPC Board Member representing the Chrysler Group. “He will bring a strong and steady hand to help AAPC navigate the complex policy issues here and abroad that can support a healthy, vibrant domestic auto industry.”

“I’m excited to join the AAPC at a time when America’s auto industry is growing, creating American jobs and reasserting its leadership,” said Governor Blunt.  “Ifirmly believe that America’s homegrown auto manufacturing is essential to our nation’s economic and competitive strength.”

The AAPC represents the common interests of the three member companies, most prominently on international trade and economic policy, both in the United States and around the world. Over the past several years, the range of public policy issues in which the AAPC played a major role was expanded to include domestic policy matters, including the active support for a ‘Manufacturing in America’ initiative and the development of common approaches to energy and global climate proposals being pursued by the Administration and Congress.
Prior to his election as governor, Blunt served in the Missouri House of Representatives and as Missouri’s Secretary of State. As Secretary of State, he reformed state election laws and used technology to increase customer convenience while also reducing costs.

Governor Blunt graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in History. Upon leaving active duty in 1998, he remained in the Naval Reserve for nearly ten years and was mobilized for six months after the September 11, 2001 attacks.Governor Blunt and his wife Melanie have two sons, William Branch and Brooks.

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The American Automotive Policy Council, Inc. (AAPC) is a Washington, D.C.- based non-profit trade association that represents the common public policy interests of its member companies: Chrysler Group, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company.