Michael (Micky) Bly has been in the automotive industry for almost 30 years and has worked in the US, England, and Germany. He spent most of his career with major American manufacturer General Motors (GM) across a variety of roles in powertrain, electrical and electrification engineering, and has led numerous powertrain and vehicle programs for GM. He joined AAM as President of its European operations in January this year and assumed responsibility for AAM’s production, engineering, sales, and marketing throughout the region.

The CEO Magazine caught up with Micky to discuss his goals and ambitions for the company, and look at the future trends for AAM and the automotive industry.

The CEO Magazine: How would you assess AAM’s position in the European market?

Micky: For the first 10 years after AAM’s founding in 1994, our focus rested solely on the North American market. Then, with the acquisition of facilities in Scotland, Sweden, and Poland, and setting up headquarters here in Germany, from which we now run European operations, our manufacturing capacity and customer base has diversified and expanded globally at a very rapid rate. AAM co-founder Richard E. Dauch was a particular driver for international expansion that led us to become the global entity we are today.

We have a very rich and experienced history of engineering, forging, and manufacturing of axles. We entered the European market at a time when there was growth in our areas of expertise and since then we have been able to acquire customers that have performed well despite the recent financial troubles plaguing Europe. So we are positioned in a very good way. We are seeing great customer acceptance of our technologies and our products and only see the upside from here. This acceptance equates to greater brand awareness and that is where we have been increasingly more active in the last couple years as well. We have been present in various events—anything from local recruiting events to exhibiting in major expos and trade shows such as this year’s 65th IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hannover, Germany, which is most likely the world’s largest commercial vehicle show.