WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), on behalf of its affiliated associations, AASA, HDMA, and OESA, praised the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for passing the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act, a bill that will help parts suppliers and vehicle manufacturers develop, implement and manufacture technology for more fuel efficient cars, trucks, and components.

The legislation is a companion bill to legislation championed by Representative Gary Peters (D-Mich.) that passed the House of Representatives last year. In addition to revamping the research and development vehicle programs at the Department of Energy, the version passed by the Senate Energy Committee also extends the program for passenger vehicle manufacturers to retool their facilities to make more fuel efficient vehicles to the medium- and heavy-duty sectors and improves the accessibility to the program for suppliers.

"MEMA and our members strongly supported this bill when it passed the House last year," says Bob McKenna, MEMA president and CEO. "We are very grateful for the leadership shown by Sen. Debbie Stabenow who promoted this bill among her colleagues. We now urge the full Senate to take up this important legislation."

"The research and development and retooling opportunities called for in this bill will allow motor vehicle parts suppliers to produce the highly efficient components and technologies that will be necessary for the next generation of vehicles," McKenna continued. "It is a great step to expand and strengthen U.S. manufacturing, help increase our nation's energy independence, and keep high-tech development here in the United States."

Suppliers manufacture the parts and technology used in domestic production of new cars and trucks produced each year, and the aftermarket products necessary to repair and maintain more than 248 million vehicles on the road today.

MEMA supports its members through its three affiliate associations, Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA), and Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA). MEMA represents more than 650 member companies with global motor vehicle parts sales exceeding $600 billion and 65 percent of North American automotive supplier sales.