New AIAG Chairman David Kneisler says Manufacturers and Suppliers Must Strive for Pervasive Use of Best-Practice Tools to Benefit Entire Industry

by Greg Creason | Jan 27, 2015

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., January 27, 2015 —
AIAG, a not-for-profit, member-supported organization that works collaboratively with automotive and manufacturing companies, suppliers, and service providers to help them operate at peak performance, has elected David Kneisler, vice president, global quality at Dana Holding Corp., its new chairman. Kneisler will serve a 24-month term, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

"As globalization of the automotive industry — and manufacturing, in general — has led to increasingly complex supply chains, decisions made by one company affect decisions and business practices made by their suppliers several levels down the supply chain and in different parts of the world," says J. Scot Sharland, AIAG’s executive director. "AIAG helps companies work together on projects that improve quality, cost, and speed in their supply chains."

Kneisler, who joined the AIAG board in 2006 and served as vice chairman for the past four years, says Dana has remained active in AIAG because the organization provides a unique forum for an open dialogue regarding industry challenges and opportunities, as well as the ability to work collaboratively to establish and disseminate industry best practices.

"Dana’s involvement with AIAG is a win-win scenario, as we work with our customers, industry peers, and the automotive supply base as a whole to improve safety, quality, and efficiency," says Kneisler. "As a supplier, ‘seamless, efficient, and responsible’ resonates. Anything that we can do as an industry to positively impact product safety or quality, or to improve industry efficiency, benefits the OEMs, the entire supply base, and the consumer."

"We seek out a broad mix of companies to serve on the AIAG board to supply their perspective and input on a variety of existing and emerging industry issues," says Sharland. "It’s an important strategy that makes sure AIAG remains relevant and connected to the industry."

Kneisler celebrates 20 years with Dana this year, a period during which he worked in various program management, plant management, and quality roles before becoming vice president of global quality in 2007. Kneisler’s responsibilities include global governance for quality, co-chair of Dana’s Product Safety Committee, and leadership for Dana’s Technical Problem Solving / Reliability Engineering, Quality Systems, and Supplier Development groups. He earned a BSBA degree from Michigan Technological University in 1983, followed by an MBA from the University of Michigan — Flint in 1987.

During his nine years serving on the AIAG board, Kneisler notes that the industry has seen its share of challenges, ranging from global economic recession to natural disasters affecting the supply chain. "But on the positive side, we’re seeing this incredible rebound of vehicle sales today," he says. "AIAG’s products and services have remained relevant through it all, proving the value of providing a platform for industry collaboration and best-practice approaches."

Kneisler says his tenure as board chairman will include maintaining and enhancing AIAG’s strong platforms and initiatives, and continuing to build global membership. "Our goal is to strive for pervasive use of industry best-practice tools and approaches across the entire supply chain, benefiting the entire industry," he says.

In making the announcement, Sharland also thanked outgoing chairman John Batchik, vice president of quality at Freudenberg-NOK, for taking AIAG’s performance to higher levels and for helping the organization expand more deeply into corporate responsibility, the environment, and health and safety. "John’s service on the board covered a challenging period as the industry continued its rise from recession," says Sharland. "We are particularly grateful for his steady hand and clear vision, which helped our members emerge as more efficient companies with higher quality products."

About AIAG
The Automotive Industry Action Group is a unique not-for-profit organization where OEMs, suppliers, service providers, government entities, and individuals in academia have worked collaboratively for more than 30 years to drive down costs and complexity from the supply chain. AIAG membership includes preeminent manufacturers and many of their parts suppliers and service providers. For more information, visit