McCahill Named President of Sport Utility Vehicle Owners of America

January 22, 2004

The Sport Utility Vehicle Owners of America (SUVOA) announced the appointment of Barry McCahill as president of the consumer organization committed to providing choice in the motor vehicle marketplace, and fair and balanced information about safety and other performance characteristics of sport utility vehicles (SUVs).

“As the former long-time spokesman for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and a respected national public relations practitioner, Barry McCahill has an extensive background in motor vehicle safety and many other public policy matters. He knows all the issues well, knows all the players, and has excellent relationships with reporters who cover the transportation beat,” according to Larry Innis, SUVOA chairman and Washington, D.C. representative of the Marine Retailers Association of America.

“Barry not only understands the Washington, D.C. political, regulatory and media environment, but because he now resides in Idaho, he brings important insight about the lifestyles and work needs of tens of millions of Americans who live far from the large urban centers. This perspective usually is missing in policy discussions about SUVs and light trucks,” Innis added.

“There is a steady drumbeat of disinformation from groups and individuals who dislike SUVs,” McCahill said. “Unfortunately, these critics tend to view the world from their own narrow viewpoints. They don’t respect the vehicle needs or interests of actual consumers whose lifestyles are different from theirs. Many consumers prefer the comfort, safety and usefulness of SUVs and light trucks, which is why these vehicles remain so popular despite waves of agenda-driven criticism.”

He applauded the recent agreement between NHTSA, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the motor vehicle manufacturers to work cooperatively to make SUVs and other vehicles safer in crashes.

“SUVs are among the safest vehicles according to crash data, and in the years ahead the record will be even better as smart engineering and technology combine to provide the next generation of crash protection for all passenger vehicles that share our roads.”

McCahill has more than 35 years of experience in all aspects of public communications. He is president of McCahill Communications, Inc., Eagle (Boise), Idaho, and serves a national client base as a consultant on transportation and other issues.

McCahill succeeds Jason Vines, who was recently named vice president of communications for DaimlerChrysler.

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