GITI Eyeing European OE Business
In order to strengthen its place in the lucrative European replacement market, and with a view to positioning itself for OE contracts, GITI Tire has invested significantly in the expansion of both the company’s main R&D centre in China and the development of a world-class European Technical Centre (ETC). The ETC is based at the renowned MIRA Ltd. facility near Birmingham in the UK where company representatives emphasised that they are already making thorough use of state of the art test facilities a highly experienced test engineers.
For the team, which is led by experienced tyre R&D expert Eddie Young, the first step was to undertake an extensive benchmark programme in order to gain a full understanding of the main competitor’s current performance levels and strengths and weaknesses with the clear objective of designing and engineering GITI products to reach and even surpass these premium competitor’s performance levels. And when you consider that the global R&D is both international in its representation and comprised of technicians who have previously worked at the highest levels of leading tyre brands, you can understand why the bar has been set so high.
However, as much as GITI has got its sights set on being a leading manufacturer purely and simply for quality’s sake, rapid advancement in tyre development, design and production is clearly also to do with impressing those responsible for OE tyre purchasing at the leading vehicle makers. As such, GITI reports that the ETC is already intensively used for the development and tuning of tyres to OEM customer needs. In the Chinese market GT Radial and other GITI produced tyres hold enormous shares of the local passenger car, light truck and truck tyre markets. The next milestone, which the R&D department insists is closer than ever, is for GITI to extend its already international OE customer list to include a European vehicle maker. While T&A understands that no contracts have yet been inked, the first news is likely to be in the light truck segment and could come as soon as next few months.