The two relationships that have the greatest effect on an industry’s economic value are an industry’s relationship with its customers and an industry’s relationship with the government. AIA’s government relations department is responsible for building and maintaining relationships with decision-makers at both the federal and provincial levels. A good relationship with the government is critical for the industry, largely because of the power and influence that auto manufacturers and their tier 1 suppliers wield with the government.
What is Government Relations?
Government relations (GR) focuses on business-to-government interactions. When an organization interacts with or attempts to influence government decision-makers on policy, programs and budget priorities, it is considered GR. An effective GR strategy presents decision-makers with win-win outcomes; those that meet the organization’s interests and those of the greater public interest.
Government Relations at AIA
AIA’s GR department deploys a number of tactics to build and maintain relationships with the government. Tactics include lobbying, information sharing and participating in public consultations.
In its interaction with the government, the GR department focuses on two topics:
- Industry Participation in the Vehicle of the Future Marketplace
- Workforce Development and Training
Why is Government Relations Important for the Aftermarket Industry?
Because the industry is downstream from the powerful auto manufacturers, GR is particularly important for the aftermarket industry. Manufacturers have more clout with decision-makers which can leave the aftermarket as an afterthought. Because of this, the aftermarket has to distinguish itself from manufacturers by educating decision-makers on the industry and industry-specific interests.