RICHBURG, S.C. — As the new kid in the North American manufacturing neighborhood, Giti Tire Manufacturing (USA) Ltd. has ambitious plans to make its mark in the regional tire market.
Since the groundbreaking four years ago for its 1.7-million-sq.-ft. facility in Richburg, the subsidiary of Singapore-headquartered Giti Tire Group began producing tires in late 2017, hired more than 700 employees and has been ramping up production for new lines of tires.
"This facility is half of what we want," said Hank Eisenga, vice president of manufacturing. "So our intent is to take and double this facility as quickly as we can."
The plant, Giti's most state-of-the-art facility, is producing about 8,000 tires per day with a capacity for 10 million tires per year.
"Our intention is to get there as quickly as we can," he added.
The plant began by producing Dextero-brand passenger car tires for Walmart Inc. stores and now also is producing the newly introduced GT Radial Maxtour LX for CUVs and cars.
"We have plans over the next five years to introduce new products every year out of this plant," Giti North America CEO Tim Fulton said during a media tour of the plant in March.
"We'll use the manufacturing capabilities of this plant as the principal source for our U.S. products, complemented by the factory in Indonesia to provide the full range of sizes."
Giti plans to introduce three product lines in 2019 to help it build the GT Radial brand:
The Maxtour LX focuses on the grand touring segments — passenger cars with high-speed ratings and larger rim diameters, as well as a heavy focus on CUVs.
The Adventuro HT will be launched this summer. The plant has started manufacturing some sizes of the LT/SUV tire, while other sizes will be built in the P.T. Gajah Tunggal plant in Indonesia.
The Maxmiler Pro commercial tire is being delivered to distribution centers under a soft launch. Limited sizes of this line will be built in Indonesia to cater to what Giti called an underserved segment of the market.