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Article ToolsReprintsPrintRespondSize:Related LinksOCIA Web siteRelated StoriesDesigner pushed Gore for president, now helps automakers go onlineRelated Downloadsmypagename=“OICA shifts its gears”;.
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write(mypagename);Related TopicsInformation TechnologyInternetAlliance of Automobile ManufacturersFred WebberOICAHarry StofferAutomotive NewsJune 25, 2007 - 12:01 am ETThe world’s automakers like to brag about the technology content of their vehicles…
Today’s cars and trucks, they observe, carry more computing power than the spacecraft that took men to the moon…
But automakers’ use of technology to share and distribute information globally also is reminiscent of decades past, industry leaders concede…
And that’s bad…
A new Web site scheduled to be launched next month is designed to go a long way toward correcting that deficiency…
The site belongs to the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs D’Automobiles, or OICA…
From its Paris headquarters, the association represents automaker groups from 42 countries…
The new site, when it goes live, will use the old site’s address, the pending breakup of DaimlerChrysler AG, the auto industry is increasingly global in character and must advance its messages globally, says Fred Webber, immediate past president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Webber was a key player in getting the international Web site designed and ready for launch…
“Many of us felt very, very strongly it was time” for a new online presence, Webber toldAutomotive News…
"And perhaps the U…
should take the lead…
"Into 21st centuryOICA is best known for promoting global harmonization of vehicle discounts football shirts regulations and sanctioning international auto shows…
The new Web site signals the organization’s intention to play a bigger role in spreading industry information…
Leading members include the U…
auto alliance and associations that represent automakers in Europe and Japan…
Other member groups come from countries ranging from Argentina to Uzbekistan…
English will be the site’s sole language, says Gloria Bergquist, vice president for communications at the auto alliancergquist chaired a committee that oversaw development of the new Web site…
Webber volunteered her services during a meeting of OICA’s governing council in Geneva about a year ago turn, Bergquist enlisted a small Pittsburgh company, Actual Size Creative (to develop the site for OICA…
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has worked with the company on online communicationsrgquist calls OICA’s current international Web site a rudimentary bulletin board…
OICA members use it mostly to share technical information, she says…
Although the new site is consumer-friendly, it is not aimed at car buyers, Bergquist new Football Shirts says…
Rather, the target audience is so-called influentials: auto executives, public officials and the news media…
Each region represented by OICA has its own products and consumer tastes, Bergquist says…
But the industry has common interests and concerns about its economic contributions and its work on safety and environmental issues, she says…
“There’s a need to tell the story around the world,” Bergquist saysts and boltsBob Kiernan, cheap soccer jerseys a founder of and a partner in Actual Size Creative, says OICA needed a site with more colors and photos…
Another goal, he says, was to offer digestible pieces of information, not "white papers that seem to go on forever…
“The key feature of the new site is its content management system, Kiernan says…
OICA will be able to update information on the site routinely and quickly…
A core group of editors in Paris will handle that role, Kiernan says…
The technology behind the new site is essentially the same as that used by bloggers, he adds…
Web site owners “don’t want to pay someone else to edit the content, and they don’t want to wait” to post updates, Kiernan says…
The look of the Web site is established through HTML coding known as cascading style sheets, or CSS, Kiernan says…
OICA editors can update the site with a Web browser rather than with specialized software, he says…
Actual Size Creative did most of its work on the site over several months…
Its main task of the past few weeks has been loading content onto the site, ironing out technical details and training the employees who will manage content, Kiernan says…
The new Web site is “head-over-heels better” than the old one, says Steve cheap soccer jerseys Witten, executive director of automotive research at J…
Power and Associates…
Witten says it appears OICA decided with its previous site that it just had to establish an online presence and did so - but not well…
Creators of the new site focused on reasons people would visit and resisted the temptation to dazzle viewers with a lot of videos and other gimmicks, he says…
For the moment, at least, Webber is not involved with the site…
He retired as president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers in February…
His customize football shirts successor is Dave McCurdy, a former congressman from Oklahoma and former head of an association representing electronics manufacturers…
Webber remains active on corporate and nonprofit boards and says he is negotiating to join two consulting firms…
One of those posts may include work related to the auto industry, he says…
“I really miss the auto industry - wonderful group of people, fascinating issues,” Webber says…
With the new Web site, many of those people and issues are on the verge of gaining wider global exposure…
You may e-mail Harry Stoffer at hstoffer@crainTalking about telematics: Voices from the industry” The myth of killer applications is dead…
I haven’t seen a killer app in five years…
I don’t think it even exists…
Telematics costs are coming down dramatically…
Next-generation vehicle relationship management is coming - connecting data with two-way communication in the vehicle…
Collision avoidance will be big by 2010-2015…
Everything connected to traffic is highly valued by the customer…
"- Simon Sascha, project leader for next-generation vehicles, Mercedes-Benz USA LLC (People want to plan how to manage multiple destinations in the course of their busy lives…
They’re able to take their itinerary and send it to the vehicle, cheap soccer jerseys and everything’s there…
They can use the traffic management tool as a means to an end and use traffic data to make real-time decisions to get to where they want to go…
"- James Greiner, senior vice president, MapQuest (Life happens when you are in your vehicle, and our services have to be flexible to those realities…
Some things just can’t be scripted or automated…
So our technologies and back-office preparedness have been designed to help our customers in as simple and meaningful a manner as possible…
"- Nick Pudar, vice president of planning and business development, OnStar (As the benefits of telematics become more evident to consumers, we are seeing clear signals that they’re viewing diagnostics and integrated infotainment as need-to-have versus nice-to-have…
Car buyers have already fully embraced the need for safety and emergency services and tend to expect features like automatic crash notification integrated into their next car…
"- Erik Goldman, CEO, Hughes Telematics Inc…
hughestelematics).

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