2015 has been a busy and productive year for AEM, as we continued to create a strong voice for our industry and deliver superior services to help members succeed.

I would like to highlight the progress we made on key 2015 initiatives, including the priorities I set as AEM Chair.

Advocacy

Advocacy was front-and-center in 2015.

I was personally honored that my company, JCB, hosted the first of 17 “AEM Members Make America” events held this year. These events highlighted how our members – and our industry – contribute to economic growth and quality of life in communities across the nation.

I Make America also traveled to the Iowa State Fair to directly engage both presidential candidates and everyday Iowans on issues important to equipment manufacturers. During six days, 3,000 Iowans signed up as I Make America supporters, and seven presidential candidates, both Iowa senators and two of members of Congress visited the booth.

A major focus for our Capitol Hill action in 2015 was passage of a highway bill with long-term and sustainable funding. This is an issue that affects all of our members – all companies in all industry sectors – and all Americans. Congress is now close to achieving that goal.

Latin America

I’m particularly pleased with the progress we’ve made in Latin America. Our goal is to establish AEM as a credible presence, to provide more reliable market data, and to increase market access for all members.

Yes, there are political and market challenges. But the long-term business outlook remains strong.

The inaugural CONEXPO Latin America show in late October helped connect equipment manufacturers with new customers and successfully raised AEM’s profile in the region.

Also, we are close to launching a new Latin America Ag equipment statistics program and expanding our construction equipment program. Members actively helped us recruit participants for these programs, which will result in more detailed and valuable data for all.

Engine Emissions

We are committed to keeping our members informed on worldwide standards and regulatory developments.

It appears that for now, the U.S. has no plans to regulate engine emissions beyond Tier 4. However, far-reaching proposals for Stage 5 regulations have come from Europe.

In response, we appointed an Engine Emissions Task Force to better understand and provide guidance on these proposals. And we are coordinating with allied industry groups.

To keep members fully aware of and prepared for any new developments and timetables, we are conducting informational webinars and other outreach. And we are determining, and will communicate, the real costs of such regulations versus effect.

Trade Shows

2015 was another exciting year for AEM trade shows:

  • We broke attendance and space records at both World of Asphalt & AGG1 and ICUEE.
  • We held our first-ever show in Africa, BAUMA CONEXPO AFRICA.
  • And we launched CONEXPO Latin America to support member efforts in the region.

Planning is also well underway for a record-breaking CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE 2017.

Our trade shows have been very successful, and we want to keep them that way. To do that, we are focusing on cost containment and technology upgrades that will improve engagement and ROI for both exhibitors and attendees.

Product Groups

In 2015, we ramped up development of our new Product Leadership groups. Leadership groups help our members gain needed perspective and take action on key issues.

In the Ag sector, we’ve established groups for:

  • Planter/Seeders
  • Sprayers
  • Specialized Ag Equipment
  • Roadways Initiative Group

In the CE sector, we have:

  • Aerial Work Platforms
  • Cranes
  • Sweepers
  • Vacuum Excavators
  • Limited-line Manufacturers

We also re-established the Technical and Safety Council as a leadership group.

Big Data – Telematics

We are also addressing “Big Data” – the explosion of data coming from our machines – and how to manage its potential.

On the Ag side, we are involved in groups such as Ag Gateway, which serves business, and the Open Agriculture Data Alliance, which serves producers, to ensure members are represented when Big Data issues are discussed and acted on.

On the CE side, our joint telematics standard with AEMP, the Association of Equipment Management Professionals, has been sent to ISO for acceptance as an international standard. Final publication is expected by March 2016.

Membership

I want to close with a brief look at member recruitment and retention. In 2015, we successfully achieved our objective to get members more engaged in AEM.

  • We went “on the road” with 19 regional membership events.
  • We reached more than 180 representatives from 90 companies
  • Our member retention rate this year exceeded 93 percent – and is more than 96 percent for full- and mid-level members.

Stay Active in AEM

In closing, I urge you to stay active in AEM. There is strength in numbers and more than ever, we need the engagement of all members to achieve our goals. And please invite more of your company executives to get involved as well.

Thank you for your support during my time as Chair. Thank you for working with me, and letting me work with you. Together, we can all succeed.

Sincerely,

John Patterson

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