The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG), a leading not-for-profit automotive industry trade association, today announced that Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL), an independent, not-for-profit product safety testing and certification organization, will provide AIAG Gap Assessment Services to automotive parts and accessories manufacturers in China to facilitate North American market access for these suppliers. Under the collaborative agreement, UL will perform gap analysis as well as training in problem solving and heat treatment process control. The AIAG Gap Assessment Services is a new program that will assist AIAG members, including General Motors Corp., DaimlerChrysler Corp. and Ford Motor Co., in resolving issues with sourcing automotive parts and accessories in China. The program also helps potential suppliers identify gaps in meeting the Detroit automakers’ sourcing requirements. The agreement leverages AIAG’s technical and management expertise and UL’s professional service capability in evaluating products, components, materials and systems to help automotive parts suppliers in China export their higher quality products more quickly. Dr. Chen Yilong, general director of Asia-Pacific Affairs & chief representative in China, AIAG, said, “Asia, particularly China, represents a key economic growth sector for the automotive parts sourcing industry. Some suppliers have found it challenging to export their products to North America because of the gap in meeting stringent sourcing requirements, where efficient and cost-effective manufacturing and delivery are more crucial than ever. Those suppliers that can demonstrate compliance will make a footprint in the global automotive industry.” A gap assessment (or gap analysis) is a business evaluation tool enabling a company to compare its actual performance with its potential performance. This provides the company with insight into areas that offer opportunity for improvement. The gap assessment process involves determining, documenting and analyzing the variance between business requirements and current capabilities.