For the third consecutive year, Giti Tire is bringing is truck tyre technology to the track. Its truck racing presence kicked off this year with an appearance at Brands Hatch Circuit over the Easter weekend.
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.
Giti Tire is follow the season in which it achieved its first podium finish, taking third place at Holland’s Circuit Zandvoort, by continuing its close involvement in the VW Fun Cup. It will mark its fourth year as official tyre partner in 2019. There are eight endurance races scheduled for 2019, lasting from three to eight hours with two to four drivers. Giti will also run its fully livered GT Radial car.
Giti Tire’s United States manufacturing facility in South Carolina has completed an audit by Volkswagen to supply two tyre sizes for the 2019 Volkswagen Passat. The plant can now officially begin producing the All-Season GitiComfort A1 as an original equipment fitment for the Passat in sizes 235/45R18 95H and 235/40R19 92H. Production commences in the first quarter of the year; these tyres are the US plant’s first original equipment supplied tyres.
Following the completion of the 2018 motorsport season, Giti Tire says it will feature a record four vehicles participating in the 24 Hours Nürburgring race, including driving the first all-women racing and technician team. The pioneering all-women team is the first of its kind at the 24 Hours Nürburgring race.
On 18 November Giti Tire took part in the 65th Macau Grand Prix, sponsoring and providing tyres to all drivers in the Lotus Cup racing competition. The event was one of six during the Grand Prix weekend, which brings racers and spectators from all around the world to the exciting street-circuit motorsports events around the city and ocean side of the historic city of Macau.
Changes are afoot within Giti Tire’s European sales and marketing team. Torsten Gehrmann, senior managing director Europe, has assumed leadership of sales and marketing for the DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) region as well as for Italy and Spain. Stefan Klein, who previously headed sales and marketing in DACH, will part ways with Giti Tire on 31 December 2018, a little over a year after he joined the company.
The first tyre for cars and SUVs from Giti Tire’s eponymous brand is now available in the UK, in a strictly limited series of 10 GitiSportS1 sizes, split equally between the original UHP tyre, launched in 2016, and the SUV version, unveiled in June 2018. The 10 sizes, which have no current equivalent in the manufacturer’s GT Radial range, are distributed by Micheldever Tyre Services, though the wholesaler has no exclusive agreement on Giti brand products.
To meet growing market demand, this year an all-season product joins the GT Radial portfolio. The GT Radial 4Seasons will go on sale in the UK this September, and Giti Tire says initial response to the newcomer has been very positive.
GT Radial’s VW Fun Cup UK team has secured its first ever podium finish, taking third place in the European event at Circuit Zandvoort, Holland. The team was led by Giti Tire’s seasoned race and senior test engineer, Ellis Hadley and ADAC GT Masters Series competitor and Hannover R&D Centre student, André Gies, battling a 26-car field, early safety car interruptions, a non-functioning lap timer and a broken radio in their dash for the dais.
The opening round of the new Formula 3 Asian Championship took place on the weekend of 14-15 July, and all vehicles lined up on the grid at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit were shot with GitiCompete GTR1 tyres. Giti Tire is on board as exclusive tyre supplier to the series.
Thanks to an internal document sent to EU member states and national tyre trade associations, we now have a clearer idea about what form the European Commission’s final anti-dumping measures against Chinese truck and bus tyres may take. The Commission favours a system of fixed, per-tyre duties similar to the preliminary duties introduced in May; the silver lining for Chinese tyre makers is that it has recommended these duties be reduced.
The Giti brand is joining the commercial vehicle tyre portfolio that Giti Tire offers in North America. Giti Tire (USA) is introducing a Giti line-up for long haul, regional, urban/light duty and mixed service applications, and intends to be active in both the original equipment and aftermarket segments within the region.