The American Automobile Manufacturers Assn. (AAMA) ceased operations Dec. 31, marking the end of an organization whose roots date back to 1900. The decision to close the Washington, D.C.-based trade organization, comprised of DaimlerChrysler Corp., Ford Motor Co., and General Motors Corp., came in the wake of the merger between Chrysler Corp. and Daimler Benz AG. DaimlerChrysler no longer qualifies for membership in the AAMA because of non-U.S. ownership, and the remaining members elected not to continue the organization with its limited membership base, says Andrew H. Card Jr., AAMA president and CEO. "While we are sad that AAMA is closing, we know that the American automobile industry is heading into an exciting period of change and opportunity," says Card. The AAMA president says he expects the automotive manufacturers that comprise the AAMA to form a new alliance, which could be incorporated as soon as mid-January and would likely include many internationally based car makers. As a result of the AAMA's closure, Card also will resign his position as president of the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, which represents national trade associations around the globe.