RICHBURG, S.C. — Giti Tire Group is planning to relocate its North American research and development (R&D) center, which opened in 2014 in Uniontown, Ohio, to its plant in Richburg.
Giti is dedicating a portion of the 1.7 million-sq.-ft. Giti Tire Manufacturing (USA) Ltd. facility in Richburg to R&D, according to Hamid Aboutorabi, director of the Uniontown R&D center.
The R&D facilities in Richburg will include indoor testing wheels in addition to the assets already in place in Uniontown, Mr. Aboutorabi said during a media tour of the plant, which recently started production.
The North American R&D center handles product development and application of advanced design technologies, testing support for North American programs, and technical and logistical support for the marketing activities of Giti Tire USA and Giti Tire Canada, the company said when it opened.
Mr. Aboutorabi said Giti has no plans for its own test track at the Richburg site, which sits on 1,600 acres of land. Instead Giti will continue to use independent vehicle proving grounds for road-testing its products.
Giti operates four other R&D centers around the world, in China, Indonesia, Germany and the United Kingdom (testing center only).
The new factory is scheduled to produce up to 200,000 passenger tires this year, company officials said, and should ramp up to several million passenger and light truck tires in 2018. The plant's first-phase nameplate capacity is 5 million tires.