GITI Tire, China's largest independent tire maker with more than $1 billion in sales, is setting up a subsidiary in City of Industry to take over sales and marketing in North America of GITI's brands made in China.
GITI Tire-controlled by Singapore-based Grandtour Tyre Pte. Ltd.-is the 12th-largest tire maker in the world, with 2004 sales of $1.05 billion. It owns majority control of five tire plants in China and minority ownership of one additional factory.
The new company, GITI Tire (USA) Ltd., was scheduled to open for business officially Nov. 1.
It will take over sales and marketing responsibility for GITI's range of branded tires made in China-including GT Radial, Runway, RoadPro and Primewell-from TransPacific Tire & Wheel Inc., also based in City of Industry.
TransPacific, which has been the independent importer of record for the GITI brands in North America since 2003, will shift its business to importing and selling tires from other tire makers in Southeast Asia, primarily Indonesia, according to Ronny Hoesada, chief financial officer and acting president.
TransPacific's future portfolio is still being formulated, a spokesman said, but likely will include some of the familiar GITI brands, such as GT Radial, albeit made in Indonesia by P.T. Gajah Tunggal, the Jakarta-based tire maker.
``Our new sales and marketing office signals a new era for GITI Tire and substantiates our commitment to this market,'' said Wu Zhi Min, general manager of marketing for GITI Tire, whose holding company is based in Singapore.
``We want to be more closely connected to our customers, so we can offer improved customer service and satisfaction throughout North America.''
Besides the brand names already listed, GITI has several others in its portfolio that may become available to North American customers in the future, the spokesman said.
Orders through GITI Tire (USA) will continue to be container loads only, the spokesman said.
GITI Tire and TransPacific are working out details of the transition, including provisions for current TransPacific customers to continue dealing with their existing sales representatives, GITI Tire (USA) said. Customers who have orders in the pipeline should expect delivery according to existing schedules.
TransPacific believes ``that tires manufactured in Indonesia provide U.S. consumers with a high-quality alternative to more expensive tires manufactured in other Asian countries like South Korea,'' Mr. Hoesada said.
TransPacific took over North American rights to GT Radial and other associated brands early in 2003 from GT Tire USA/Seyen Trading Inc., which had handled the brand since the mid-1990s.
GITI did not disclose its sales volume in North America. Vic DeIorio, executive vice president, sales and marketing for TransPacific, will move to GITI Tire (USA) in those same capacities, the companies said.
GITI Tire (USA) was scheduled to exhibit under that name at the 2005 SEMA Show, Nov. 1-4 in Las Vegas.
* * *
GITI Tire brands at a glance
GITI Tire (USA) Ltd. will take over sales and marketing responsibility for parent firm GITI's range of branded tires made in China, which include:
* GT Radial