Leadership Insights

AAM leaders are sharing their thoughts on manufacturing, innovation, market competitiveness, job creation and the key issues and global challenges of our time. Take a look at the impact our leaders are making through speaking engagements, events and more.

American Drive by Richard E. Dauch                                                    
Politicians talk about creating jobs and fixing the economy.                                        
Here's the way to do just that.

An executive with nearly thirty years in the trenches of the
hard-nosed Detroit automobile industry, Richard E. Dauch had long dreamed of running his own manufacturing company. In 1993, he took on the challenge of his life: buying a troubled axle supply and parts business along with five rusting, unprofitable, union-controlled, near-decrepit plants in the Buffalo, New York area and in Detroit, Michigan.

The newly created independent company was named American Axle and Manufacturing, Inc. Dauch set out to create a
world-class industrial automotive manufacturing supplier. He bought and bulldozed the crack houses that surrounded the company; rebuilt the plants; struck tough bargains with unions; solved quality problems that were costing tens of millions every year and alienating customers; trained and empowered his company's workers at every level; expanded the business to be a global enterprise; and within one year of opening the doors had turned an astounding $66 million in profit.                                               

In American Drive, Dauch narrates the story of AAM against the backdrop of nearly fifty years in the auto industry, from America's glory days to its massive decline in the face of foreign competition, the government bailouts, battles with unions, and the recent financial crisis. Tough, smart, inspiring, and opinionated, Dauch offers memorable lessons on leadership, advancing technology, communication, negotiation, and making profits in difficult times. Dauch's story transcends the auto industry and draws a blueprint for job creation, manufacturing competitiveness, economic growth, product development and innovation, and engineering and manufacturing excellence in America.

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