GT Radial has unveiled its “dual approach” strategy to the electric vehicle tyre market. The headline news is that the brand’s manufacturer Giti Tire has produced an initial three 18-20” sizes of the specialist GT Radial SportActive 2 EV tyre, with the 19 and 20-inch variations achieving the top AAA label rating. GT Radial has also introduced 16 “EV Ready” tyres in the brand’s popular SportActive 2 and FE2 portfolios, demonstrating the manufacturer’s strategy to supply both specialist EV tyres and products suitable for EVs and internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Giti’s European managing director – product technology, Stefan Fischer explains why the tyre manufacturer views this approach as “a game changer”.
Micheldever Tyre Services and Giti Tire gave UK GT Radial Performance Centre (GTPC) dealers the opportunity to test the brand’s latest tyres to the limit during their recent Ride and Drive event in Portimão, Portugal. Held at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve circuit at the start of September, dealers were able to drive on the celebrated race track on the GT Radial SportActive 2 ultra-high performance tyre, as well as testing the handling and off-road capabilities respectively of the brand’s FE2 and Savero SUV.
Visitors to The Tire Cologne had the opportunity to see to Giti Tire’s growing product portfolio. Highlights included Giti Radial’s latest UHP tyre, the SportActive 2, as well as extensions to the GT Radial FE2 performance range. The Giti brand was well represented, too, with the Giti4x4 AT71 heralding a return to the all-terrain segment in the UK.
80 guests became the first European customers to test drive the new GT Radial SportActive 2 and FE2 at GT Radial’s first Mira Drive and Ride event for almost two years. Potential new dealers, supported by select GT Radial Performance Centre (GTPC) owners, got back on track under Covid secure conditions over two days, during which GT Radial’s exclusive UK distributor over the last decade, Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS), presented the brand’s product portfolio. All attendees were invited to experience high speed circuits in the new BMW 5 Series of Giti Tire’s country manager – UK, Brian McDermott who put his own car on the redline.
Nascar Whelan Euro Series driver Scott Jeffs will join the GT Radial team for their next VW Fun Cup race in Thruxton on 22 August. Jeffs is a former Mini Challenge UK Cooper S Class champion, and became Alex Sedgwick’s Elite 2 partner in the no.90 AST Suspension Chevrolet Camaro for Braxx Racing. He will race at Thruxton with Brian McDermott, country manager – UK and Ellis Hadley, senior test engineer at Giti Tire.
With the VW Fun Cup 2020 season ready to commence its reduced calendar of five rounds, Giti Tire has confirmed that it is maintaining its position as Official Tyre Partner. The tyre manufacturer will also participate, racing its fully livered GT Radial car. Ellis Hadley, senior test engineer at Giti Tire, will line-up on the grid alongside seasoned racing enthusiasts from the GT Radial Performance Centre (GTPC) network. The VW Fun Cup will start with a One Hour Sprint Race and a Four Hour Endurance Race on 8 August at Snetterton, before hitting Thruxton, Silverstone and the season finale at Oulton Park on 17 October. All cars in the competition run on GitiCompete GTR2 tyres.
Giti Tire has extended its support of MotoFest Coventry with an evening circuit programme for the first time. The main GT Radial sprint circuit will host a full track programme on the Saturday night, including a dynamic display of wheel to wheel motorsport from teams involved in the VW Fun Cup UK series.
Giti Tire has extended its exclusive distribution agreement with Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS) for its GT Radial and Runway brands for a further four years. The new deal, which runs until 2022, will continue to cover the passenger car, 4×4 and light truck tyre segments. Tyrepress understands that certain car and SUV sizes of Giti Tire’s eponymous Giti brand will continue to be available via Micheldever, where no equivalent GT Radial-branded tyre is currently available. The brand was first added to Micheldever’s inventory in 10 such sizes in 2018.
Giti Tire’s all-round passenger car tyres, the GT Radial Champiro FE1 and FE1 City have reached a major milestone. The tyres have sold two-and-a-half million units in Europe. The range has been on the market for four and a half years, with the original tyre joined by a model tuned to micro and supermini city cars in 2017.
Giti Tire has developed its GT Radial all-season product range, available in the UK from exclusive distributor Micheldever, off the back of an encouraging run of sales for its initial product for this growth market. Tyres & Accessories spoke to Brian McDermott, country manager UK for Giti Tire, to get the latest on how the manufacturer is shaping its range for the segment, which appears to have gained more of a footing in the UK than specialist winter tyres have previously managed.
Giti Tire’s GT Radial Ride and Drive Day at Horiba Mira, held in partnership with exclusive brand distributor passenger for car, SUV/4×4 and light truck tyres, Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS), was attended by a capacity group of 40 new and existing customers. A mixture of independent garage owners representing potential partners and GT Radial Performance Centres (GTPCs) were given the opportunity to test out the GT Radial passenger car tyre portfolio on the test centre’s circuits, including the wet handling circuit in Golf GTIs on both the FE1 and SportActive tyres, and the wet circles ‘drifting’ in a new BMW 3.
GT Radial is the new main sprint circuit sponsor at this weekend’s Power Maxed MotoFest Coventry 2019. During the UK’s largest urban motorsports festival weekend, the MotoFest Coventry track, created from the city’s ring road, will be named the GT Radial sprint circuit. As part of the sponsorship agreement, GT Radial will run its VW Fun Cup cars on the sprint circuit on both days of the festival weekend.
Giti Tire has launched the GT Radial Maxmiler AllSeason, a four-season tyre for the European van and light truck markets. Carrying the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) symbol of its sidewall, the product is initially available in 13 SKUs with 15C-16C” rims, section widths from 195-235 and series sizes from 65-75. Load indices range from 104-115.
Year-on-year growth in the SUV tyre segment has become something of a given in recent years. The popularity of this market segment has been a beacon for car-makers in Europe, as the number of new models in the last decade shows. In terms of tyres, this has meant increases in larger, higher value products, both in the original equipment and replacement markets, the results of which are analysed elsewhere in this section. Volume and value growth in the UK replacement market, at 10 and 15 per cent respectively, has been healthy again in the last year.