NTDA Chairman: Labelling, Legislation and Technology are ‘Challenges to Conquer’
Shortly before the surreal comic quips of this year’s after dinner speaker (popular TV and Radio comedian Milton Jones), the hundreds of industry opinion makers gathered for the 2010 TAFF Awards and NTDA annual dinner heard the customary speech from association chairman David White. In it he succinctly observed recent changes in market condition and suggested that if the business is ready to embrace change with necessary attitude and enthusiasm “success will surely follow.”
“Most would agree that it’s been a difficult year. The state of the economy and consumer confidence means challenging times for us all. Clearly economic recovery has also dramatically changed production processes from a demand “pull” to a demand “push”, the complexity in the product continues, winter tyre production anticipating a buoyant winter tyre season are some of the issues that seem to have conspired to the current pretty dire impact on availability – I don’t think many of us in the wholesale and retail trade can remember a time when availability and order fulfilment levels were at such a low level. At the same time we seem to be on the edge of a technology precipice. It’s certainly an exciting time to be around the tyre trade and for me it seems that the next few years will see many changes.
Manufacturers should ‘release their plans on tyre ratings as soon as possible’
“Tyre labelling – the subject of much debate…and what impact might they have on consumer’s choice? Whilst appreciative of the tyre performance issues manufacturers face, I can only encourage them to release their plans and tyre ratings as soon as possible to allow the retailers to do a good job in terms of execution and educating motorists. This year we have seen significant price inflation with of course the VAT change in January to further add to that consumer confidence melting pot.”
“There’s so much going on at the moment. Dual core processors for mobile phones are around the corner as is 4G giving mobiles processing capacity of laptops, the never ending production of “apps” and their possibilities in terms of things like tyre pressure information being transmitted via a mobile. Who knows maybe soon you’ll get an email, voice message or a telephone call – time to go to your local tyre retailer to get those tyres inflated or changed?…
“Also bobbing around in all of this is the thorny topic of tyre age – it’s hard to see quite why a customer would have any concerns whatsoever that a tyre has a 6, 7, 8, or more lifespan – this seems to be a challenge that’s proving difficult to resolve.
“Ever present on the government back burner bubbling away, Edward Davey the new minister for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs has pulled self regulation in our sector to the forefront – This month he wrote to the NTDA to take whatever steps are necessary to deliver more members into membership of Motor Codes. Motor Codes and many other codes are alive and kicking but mandatory licensing of people and/or premises still lurks in the background.
“Nevertheless, I can see that these are simply challenges to conquer. Our Industry has much to celebrate and for those who embrace change, have the right approach and attitude and enthusiasm success will surely follow.”
- Bridgestone, Stapleton’s Among the Winners at 2010 TAFF Awards
- TAFF Awards Tyre Manufacturer of the Year – Bridgestone
- TAFF Awards Tyre and Aftermarket Equipment Supplier of the Year – Apaseal
- TAFF Awards Best Industry Advertising Campaign – Continental
- TAFF Awards Environment Award – Envirotyre
- TAFF Awards Innovation Award – Michelin