On the road - with ISO standards

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Por Roger Frost
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There are few industries more global than the automotive sector whose supply chains link suppliers large and small, worldwide. ISO International Standards allow this system to mesh efficiently and effectively. A new ISO brochure, How ISO standards support global car industry, presents a compilation of recent articles from ISO Focus+ magazine and of press releases showing the scale of ISO's rapid responsiveness to the needs of this important sector.

Clearly, with more than a billion estimated road vehicles in use worldwide, if the automotive sector uses state-of-the-art standards for aspects such as safety, impact on the environment, and requirements for supply chain partners, this can have an enormous impact on all three dimensions of sustainable development – social, environmental and economic.

The importance of this challenge is reflected by ISO's response. Out of a current total of more than 19 500 ISO International Standards for almost all sectors of business and technology, some 900 have been developed for road vehicles and related technologies. They provide benefits:

  • For manufacturers, ISO standards provide specifications for safety, quality, performance and environmental impact
  • For supply chains, ISO standards provide harmonized requirements enabling outsourcing, fair competition, the participation of suppliers from developing countries – a "level playing field" – and drive down costs by facilitating competitive tendering
  • For regulators, ISO standards provide the technical basis - regularly reviewed and improved – for legislation on aspects such as safety and pollution
  • For consumers and users, ISO standards make it simpler and safer to drive vehicles, while protecting passengers (especially children) and pedestrians, and lower the cost of buying vehicles
  • For research and development, ISO standards facilitate innovation and the roll-out of new technologies by providing globally harmonized terminology and consensus on health, safety and environmental aspects

The new brochure includes interviews with top executives from companies such as Kia Motors Corporation, Chrysler Group and Fiat, Daimler and Rolls Royce Motor Cars, who share their perspectives on ISO standards. It also include a list of ISO standards for the increasingly important sector of electric vehicles.

How ISO standards support global car industry, published in English and French, is available free of charge from the ISO Central Secretariat through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication & Information department. It can also be obtained from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details).


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