The Auto Body Consortium, a not-for-profit group funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and private industry will link up with Environmental Research Institute of Michigan’s Center for Automotive Research, CAR officials announced here Monday.

As of Sept. 30, ABC will be part of CAR. The two have collaborated on several research programs in the past and plan to further work on the use of math-based tools to produce the 12-month car; maximizing closure system performance and solving problems associated with producing car bodies of more than one material. Jay Baron, head of CAR’s Manufacturing Systems Group, will head the combined organization, with ABC President Ernie Vahala retaining responsibility for research and development partnering activities. ABC members include General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., DaimlerChrysler AG and more than 50 automotive suppliers.