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 has extended its track day partnership with leading performance car publication evo into 2017. The tyre manufacturer will focus particularly on the promotion of the GT Radial SportActive, targeting all event attendees and evo magazine readers. Throughout the year five track evenings will take place, with three at Rockingham Motor Speedway in May, August and September and two at Bedford Autodrome in July and September.
Giti Tire has extended the scope of its ultra-high performance tyre, introducing the GT Radial SportActive SUV derivative. The manufacturer has made seven 18-19” SUV sizes available initially, across speed indices V-W, section widths from 225 to 255 and series sizes 50 to 60. Giti states that it is targeting SUVs with dynamic performance and powerful engines such as the Audi Q3, Range Rover Evoque and BMW X3.
The GT Radial SportActive became available around a year ago as a new flagship tyre for the brand, distributed in the UK by Micheldever. Towards the end of 2016, Giti Tire held an event for its wholesale partner and a large group of its most successful dealers in Vilamoura, Portugal, with track-based demonstrations of the tyre’s capabilities at Portimao’s Autódromo Internacional do Algarve. GT Radial has leveraged a racing partnership before to market the tyre in the UK; it partnered consumer high performance driving magazine Evo for its popular 2016 series of track day events at the Bedford Autodrome, making its tyres available for amateur racing enthusiasts to try out on vehicles such as the Audi S3, Golf GTI, BMW 340i and Toyota GT86.
Giti Tire is currently partnering with performance car magazine Evo for a series of track days. The manufacturer states that this “provides an excellent platform” from which to promote its current flagship ultra-high performance product, the GT Radial SportActive. Five events are held at Bedford Autodrome every year. With three track days completed and two more in the diary, including the popular How Fast? on 22 October with F1-style qualifying timed laps and leaderboard, the partnership is revving up.
Upon launching its Savero SUV tyre last September, the company behind the GT Radial brand gave a sneak preview of a new tyre scheduled for introduction in 2016. As we reported at the time, this tyre, the SportActive, takes the baton from the GT Radial Champiro UHP1 and Champiro HPY to become the flagship UHP tyre in the GT Radial portfolio. Following a limited launch in several non-seasonal markets, manufacturer Giti Tire has now released an initial range of 27 SportActive sizes in all European markets.
Giti has previewed its forthcoming ultra-high performance flagship tyre for its leading GT Radial brand. Eventually replacing the GT Radial UHP1 and HPY, the GT Radial SportActive currently has eight 17 and 18 inch sizes in production at its Hefei, China plant, the manufacturer’s senior product marketing manager Fabio Pecci-Boriani told Tyrepress during the launch of the brand’s Savero SUV tyre in Barcelona. The manufacturer will also have a further “22 sizes in production by the end of the year”, he added, with 40-50 sizes in total available by June 2016. These sizes will include some suitable for high performance SUVs. The SportActive is a significant milestone for the company; it is the first to feature Giti’s “Optimal Casing Construction” (OCC) technology, with the project led by the company’s European research and development centre in Hanover, Germany.