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ITIA – a positive outlook for 2021

The Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA) has been through a very busy year in 2020, particularly since the initial Covid-19 lockdown period.

Members experienced very challenging times at the outset in their efforts to keep both customers and staff safe whilst still providing essential services.

CEO Sue O’Neill said: “Because we represent a broad spectrum of members across the industry from manufacturers to wholesalers, retailers, suppliers and collectors we did see some very different challenges for different companies so there was no one solution for our members during this time.

“Keeping abreast of the various restrictions and the help provided in terms of income and revenue supports has meant we have been providing regular updates to members. Keeping in touch with our many stakeholders including the Department of Transport, Department of Communications Climate Acton and Environment has been invaluable in keeping us up-to-date.”

Sue O’Neill

Once businesses reopened a concerted effort amongst members in preparation for Road Safety Week resulted in a very successful Road Safety and Tyre Safety Campaign for the association. The collaboration with An Garda Siochána and RSA in carrying out roadside checks again this year, really highlighted the importance of tyre safety amongst the public. A successful social media campaign also promoted ITIA members right around the country.

ITIA collaborates with the Small Firms Association 2021 will continue to be busy for the ITIA. A new initiative for the coming year will see members benefit from an affiliation with the Small Firms Association. The SFA is a recognised and credible voice of the small business sector in Ireland.

The SFA provides expertise on employment law, human resource strategy and people management. In an ever-changing employment landscape, the SFA monitors and responds, in consultation with and on behalf of, businesses on proposed legislative changes that may impact on the cost of doing business and business model.

O’Neill explained: “As a result of the broader areas of assistance we provided to members during the pandemic and the positive feedback we got as a result, we have decided to team up with the SFA to help us to provide our members with more focussed business advice to help them grow their business.

“There will be a range of online and physical seminars and events that our members will be able to attend. They will be able to seek business advice, particularly in the area of employment law and they will receive the latest information in this area in a timely manner. With Brexit coming very quickly down the tyre industry will no doubt be impacted so our affiliation with SFA will make our voice even stronger in this regard.”

The ITIA says it is also currently planning its 2021 Conference and AGM which is due to take place on February 25 at The Hodson Bay Hotel.

It is hoped that this will be a physical event followed by a dinner for delegates. Failing this a virtual event will be held. The programme for the conference will include presentations on New Tyre Labelling, using top tools to work smarter – grow faster, ADAS Systems and recent employment legislation including tips for members. The ITIA will also formally launch its tyre repair standard for members.

Another key area where members will be offered support is in a new tyre campaign which will be rolled out in the new year called “Respect the Pressure”. This consumer campaign will aim to educate the public on understanding the importance and advantages of ensuring their tyres have the correct pressure at all times.

Finally, after some disruption to the ITIA Tyre Technician Training Programme, the next round of training will get underway in February. Bookings are now being accepted by emailing info@itia.ie for this third programme for new technicians and for those who need to complete some modules.

“We are delighted to have welcomed some new members during 2020 and we are looking forward to being able to get to meet each other next year, as networking for our members to allow them to hear from each other is very important. We could maybe even get our Golf Outing underway soon enough,” says O’Neill.