The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) in partnership with the American Trucking Associations (ATA), Auto Care Association, Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA), Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) and Tire Industry Association (TIA), urged state and local government leaders to designate the motor vehicle maintenance, repair and service industry as an “essential service” and critical resources in ensuring the safe and ongoing operations of our nation’s transportation sector.
“As our nation enacts emergency measures to protect Americans from the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus, USTMA and our industry partners urge government leaders to consider the critical role that motor vehicle supply and repair facilities play in protecting the safe and efficient operation of the entire transportation sector,” said Anne Forristall Luke, USTMA president and CEO. “Commercial and government vehicle fleets and thousands of medical professionals and first responders depend on our businesses to support their safety and vital transportation needs,” Luke said.
In a letter directed to the National Governors Association, U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, and National Association of Counties, the six trade groups affirmed their position stating;
“Essential tasks rely on safe and efficient transportation. Government vehicle fleets (local, state, and federal) and other essential personnel (doctors, nurses, healthcare provider, grocers etc.) depend on businesses that support the safe operation of the transportation sector. Public and private transportation services are necessary to ensure the public may complete essential trips, including purchasing food and medicine or caring for loved ones. Businesses that provide the support or supplies necessary to operate must therefore also be deemed essential.
Motor vehicle supply and repair facilities provide vehicle and roadside services essential to maintaining critical operations and the flow of commerce. In addition to gas stations, it is imperative that motor vehicle supply, motor vehicle repair and related facilities be encouraged to support the safe and efficient operation of transportation services. Community members providing critical care and services should be assured they won’t be impeded by a flat tire or vehicle problems that could be quickly addressed by motor vehicle care professionals. Our industry stands ready to help ensure aid can reach the places it is most needed.”
The groups asked that “state and local policies…take into account the important role of motor vehicle supply and repair facilities and ensure these essential businesses remain available to support the work of other crucial businesses.”