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Giti Tire, fury in the Orient

The  growth of the Asian group Giti Tire,  already a leader on the Chinese market, continues, becoming increasingly global, with a range developed in Europe through the new R & D centre in Hannover.

Duilio Damiani

It is often thought about tires manufactured in the Far East that they allow  motorists to save money when replacing tires, penalizing  driveability  with a product  not completely aligned with European standards . We should, however, make a distinction.
The past few years have seen the rise of Oriental Brands on the global markets, now supported not only by aggressive pricing policy, but also by fairly good products and detailed service networks. Making a bundle of all Chinese companies can prevent anyone from appreciating the peculiarities of each situation.
The latest example comes to us from the biggest Sino-Indonesian group , Giti Tire , based in Singapore, which together with its Indonesian partner Gajah Tungaal , operates not only on the tire and tire parts market, but also in the petrochemical, finance and real estates , large-scale distribution , insurance and consumer goods . With 75 million tires per year , thanks to the consistent activity of its eight industrial plants in China and Indonesia, R & D centres and Testing Grounds in Europe, Asia and America , Giti Tire is the first tire manufacturer in China. With its differentiated brands - which include Giti , GT Radial , Primewell , Runway, Dextero , Hualin , Greatwall, Roadking and Yinlun - Giti provides original equipment for most of the cars on the Asian market , as well as  motorcycles , trucks, industrial and agricultural vehicles, numerous General Motors models in the U.S., and Fiat and Renault in Europe with its GT Radial range, ranking as the eleventh world producer (if considering only the field of radial truck and bus tires, it would rank among the top 5, though).
GT Radial, Runway and Primewell  are recurring names even in our country, all the more present on the market in spite of the difficult economic conditions.

The european program

After an initial phase of penetration in Europe, which began in the late 90's and consolidated in the middle of the last decade through the expansion of  commercial  and technical structures, Giti Tire, through its two commercial divisions in Siegburg, Germany and Great Britain, branch offices in France and now in Italy, a testing centre at the Mira European test Circuit  and with its own Technical Centre in Hanover in an expansion phase, thanks to growing investments and detailed distribution agreements in all European markets, has also recently added Russia.Housed in modern offices in the Italian Giti Tire Europe directional centre in Vimercate in the outskirts of Milan, we got to meet with leaders of the European Group of the Asian tire manufacturer for an interview with PNEURAMA. We met with Richard Lyons, Director General for Europe, Peter Foulkes, Europe Marketing Director for the Truck segment, and Matt Wells, PR & Media; the opportunity was provided by the recent appointment of Daria  Sala Della Cuna as Country Manager for Southern Europe (Italy, Spain and Portugal), the successor of Corrado Moglia – who will be covering other prestigious assignments in south America - and flanked by Lorella Maggiori, Marketing Manager for the same markets."The brand's positioning among the top ten in the world is of marginal importance to us," says Richard Lyons, "even though the growth recorded in the last period, both in main and secondary markets, provide the confirmation of the quality of our work. Our main goal, "says Richard," is to always ensure the highest levels of quality, not only regarding the product but also in dealing with the network and services to support our customers. "Daria Sala adds : " Certainly the European scenario shows a saturated market ; however we can still expand our presence by working with targeted products and competitive quality / price ratio . Our multi-brand strategy is aimed at joining a high quality range of product to an advanced marketing support, provide adequate customer service , a direct line with our distributors which can provide an added appeal to our product, and an improved merchandising offer to give visibility to the  brands, receiving the final user’s recognition and loyalty . "It is in this context that, in addition to investments in management structure, developments in a number of side projects are already in the pipeline, such as the creation of a network dedicated to  commercial vehicles, for which the Asian group offers  the TBR range with already interesting performances that are continuously updated, and provide adequate assistance both to the self-employed worker as well as to the small, medium and large fleet owners.


Growing outlook

The intentions of a further structural expansion of the group are confirmed by the creation of new executive positions in Europe, with the recent addition of a Senior Product Marketing Manager (to which a new European Marketing Director – ‘Passenger Car’- position will be added), a position assigned to Fabio Pecci Boriani, who will oversee from his Siegburg office the development of the  portfolio of products coordinating the marketing strategies of the company while supporting the global research and development team, first and foremost the new facility in Hanover, in the design and production of new models of tires destined for the western market."The enlargement of our staff, both locally and in a European setting, shows the company’s clear intention to be closer to the distribution network and to the end user," confirms Lorella Maggiori, "also by working on customer support through dedicated B2C and B2B platforms, developed in cooperation with our local distributors. "Through a multi-brand strategy, the tires targeted to the European market cover a wide range, both for cars as well as the truck segment, mainly through the partnership of our three major brands, all positioned in the so-called "quality" segment: with GT Radial as our main brand  - distributed in Italy by the Brescia based Magri Gomme – then placed somewhere between the first and the second quality level we offer Primewell, reinforced by a competitive quality / price ratio and marketed by one of the top Italian distribution agencies - Fintyre,  and  through a network of local distributors in cooperation with the national network Tire & Tire.The upgraded offer, enriched last year by a number of new models, is affecting the year 2014. After last year’s launching of the GT Radial UHP1 and VP1 range, of Primewell Sports 910 and Runway 926, for the automobile segment, and GT Radial GAU861 city bus, GSR225 Combi Road and GAM831 for the truck segment, this year will see the launch of five new products, for cars, SUVs and light trucks, and four other tires dedicated to the TBR sector, with the debut of specific retreaded versions able to cover a large portion of the current running fleet , supplying more and more formats to meet the demands from even those small market niches so far neglected by the major players.

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