The abbreviation IATF stands for International Automotive Task Force.

The task force was founded in 1996 and today represents all major automotive OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and national supplier associations in the U.S., India and Europe (Germany, France, the U.K. and Italy). But not all international automakers are IATF members, especially in Southeast Asia (Japan, South Korea and China, for example). With one exception: the Geely Group, which i.a. includes Volvo.

The IATF's mission is to harmonize nationally implemented quality management methods and quality management standards to improve overall product quality in the automotive industry.

The IATF is also the publisher of the IATF 16949 Technical Standard, which sets requirements for a quality management system for series and spare parts production in the automotive industry. In 2016, IATF 16949 followed the ISO/TS 16949 technical specification, which was first published in 1999 with the participation of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). In addition, there are the so-called "Rules", which contain requirements for certification bodies accredited to perform certification audits according to IATF 16949.

The actual target group of the IATF quality requirements is primarily the group of international and national automotive suppliers, mostly so-called "tier 1 suppliers" and "tier 2 suppliers". Automobile manufacturers generally demand proof of their quality capability from them in the form of an IATF 16949 certificate.

Expertise and trust

The ISO/TS 16949 technical specification was first published in March 1999. The aim was to harmonize the requirements of the automotive industry, which had varied internationally until then. In 2000, DQS was recognized as a certifier by the IATF and approved by the German VDA-QMC (Quality Management Center of the German Automotive Industry Association). Since then, we have been one of the most experienced certification companies for automotive standards worldwide.


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Would you like to learn more about certification according to the automotive standard IATF 16949 ? Find out more. Without obligation and free of charge.

Ute Droege

DQS expert for quality management systems, long-time auditor and experienced trainer for ISO 9001.