Giti Tire woos European tyre buyers By Will Shiers GITI
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TIRE (UK) has completed a number of customer driving events at its European Technical Centre at Mira Proving Ground, where it not only alerted European truck tyre buyers to its expanding product range, but attempted to prove that its tyres are every bit as good as its premium rivals.
To illustrate this, customers were given the chance to drive two identical Scania tractor units on a wet skid pan (pictured right). One was clad with Bridgestone M729s on the drive axle and Bridgestone R297s on the steering axle. The other wore GT Radial GT659+ tyres on the drive axle and GT Radial GSR220s on the front. Customers were encouraged to drive both trucks in a circle on a surface that replicated compact snow, gradually increasing the speed until traction was lost. In the case of our test drive, both trucks began to lose traction at exactly 43kmph.
Truck sales and marketing director Tony McHugh said: "We could have used any of the premium brands and the results would've been the same. We aren't saying we are better than the premium brands, simply that we are as good as. And our tyres are about 30% cheaper."
The other clear message from the event was that Giti, which is the third largest supplier of truck tyres in the UK and holds the number one spot in China, is a global company based in the far East rather than a Chinese company. A spokesman said it had always had its head office in Singapore and saw an opportunity to manufacture and sell tyres in China decades ago.
Eddie Young, director of research and development at Giti Tire, said that most of the premium brands have production facilities in China. "Continental has a factory close to ours," he said, "so does that make it a Chinese tyre maker?"