The recipient of 2006 Wu Manufacturing Leadership Award

Mr. Richard E. Dauch

Mr. Richard E. Dauch

Richard E. Dauch is a 42-year veteran of the automotive industry. He began his career in 1964 when he joined General Motors Corporation. Over the course of his 12 years with GM, he progressed from a college-graduate-in-training to the youngest plant manager in Chevrolet’s history. In 1976, he joined Volkswagen of America (VWoA), where he served as group vice president of Manufacturing Operations and planned and created the manufacturing facilities for the first volume-automotive transplant in the United States.  Dauch also served as a member of VWoA’s Board of Directors.

Lee Iacocca recruited him to Chrysler Corporation in 1980 to resurrect the company’s ailing manufacturing operations. As executive vice president of Worldwide Manufacturing, Dauch was known as the driving force behind Chrysler’s manufacturing and quality renaissance with his visionary, no-nonsense, people-oriented, get-it-done management style. He planned and directed the implementation of Chrysler’s world-recognized, just-in-time materials management system and three-shift assembly system capability. He also oversaw the planning and construction of the Chrysler Technical Center and Chrysler’s newest assembly plants: Jefferson North, in Detroit, Sterling Heights Assembly and the Graz operations in Austria.

In 1994, he co-founded American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) by teaming with two investors to purchase the General Motors axle, forge, and driveshaft driveline assets. Today, AAM is one of the top 40 automotive suppliers in the world. It is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock symbol AXL.

Dauch’s reputation as an innovative manufacturing strategist and entrepreneur is widely recognized in North America and around the world. In addition to lecturing extensively on the subject of world-class manufacturing, Dauch has authored a book titled ¡°Passion for Manufacturing,¡± which is distributed in 80 countries in several languages and used extensively as textbook material at colleges and universities. He has been the recipient of numerous honors during his career.

Dauch is the past chairman and on the board of directors of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). He also serves on the boards and committees of many community and academic organizations. Dauch received a bachelor of science degree in industrial management and science and his Honorary Doctorate of Management from Purdue University.

A resident of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Dauch has been married for 45 years to his wife, Sandy. He is he father of four adult children and the grandfather of 16.