August 29, 2008
Progress on our Open Letter to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
We've finally made some progress with our open letter to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. I had a very frustrating few days talking to unhelpful voicemails in Washington, and helpful receptionists in both Michigan and California who nonetheless assured me that I needed to talk to someone in Washington. First of all I managed to get to speak to Candace Robinson in their communications and public affairs department, rather than just her voicemail. She passed my message on to Wade Newton, who managed to call me back successfully after a couple of false starts.
Wade told me we were barking up the wrong tree asking the "Auto Alliance" for technical information. The way he described it to me was that information is passed down to the AAM from the automobile manufacturers, but doesn't really get passed back in the opposite direction. He suggested I contact the automobile companies directly on that one. He also said that I was in the right place to talk about trademark issues, and that the person I really needed to speak to on that topic was John Whatley, the Auto Alliance's Vice President & General Counsel. I phoned the Alliance's Washington switchboard number, as Wade suggested, and given my previous experiences I was very pleasantly surprised when I got through to John straight away. However even after a nice long chat John and I didn't come to any agreement on my request for the Alliance to remove the "EcoDriving™" reference from their new website.
Following these conversations it's obvious to me now that I need to split the letter in two, and address one part to the Auto Alliance itself, and the other half to the members of the Alliance. I also need to make sure I address the letters to the right organizations. The old adage "more haste, less speed" was coined for a reason
So there are two new open letters coming to this space very shortly. We'll keep a record of the early drafts preserved for posterity on our new Open Letters about EcoDriving in the USA page.
Filed under EcoDriving™ by