CHANDLER, Ariz.—GITI Tire (USA) Ltd. picked the perfect spot to introduce its newest product, a hot ultra-high-performance (UHP) tire, the Y speed-rated GT Radial Champiro HPY.
For its first-ever ride-and-drive event, the Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based unit of Singapore-based Chinese tire maker GITI Tire Pte. Ltd. chose Arizona, with temperatures topping 100 degrees, and Firebird International Raceway to show off the performance attributes of the UHP radial.
The idea was “to bring our dealers and sales force together to experience first-hand the quality of the product and especially in a racing environment at 110 degrees,” said Tom McNamara, vice president of sales for GITI (USA).
The 50 tire dealers and media in attendance put the Champiro HPY through a series of three driving sequences, including a high-speed follow-the-leader event, a slalom course and a quick lane-change maneuver.
“We designed the tire for the U.S. and Europe to show we had the technology and wherewithal to produce such a product,” McNamara said. “And, again, if you look at the tires, they didn't feather,” he said of the HPYs after experiencing a day of punishment at the track.
The new tire, which GITI affiliate P.T. Gajah Tunggal Tbk. makes at its plant in Indonesia—GITI also has six tire factories in China—features an asymmetric tread pattern consisting of an inner and outer shoulder area. The open inner shoulder is designed with continuous lateral grooves for water dispersion, while the outer shoulder provides optimum road contact and aids in cornering stability, the company said.
For straight-line stability and steering response, the Champiro HPY features a solid center rib. The use of a full silica compound in both the tread and in the body compounds further enhances wet traction and reduces heat buildup, the company said.
“We believe the GT Radial Champiro HPY is the right tire at the right time for drivers looking for value in the economy but not wanting to sacrifice the performance of their sports cars,” McNamara said.
GITI is offering the Champiro HPY in 17 sizes from 35- to 50-series aspect ratios for 17- to 20-inch wheels. Eleven more sizes will be added in the first quarter of 2011, including some 55-series aspect ratios.
Dealers can order the tire by containerload or through distribution center order from the company's warehouse in Rancho Cucamonga. Orders of HPYs can be mixed with the company's other tire lines including truck/bus radials to fill a container or fill a truckload, Mr. McNamara said.
GITI is looking to grow in Mexico, the U.S. and in Canada “and position our product at the higher quality level,” McNamara said.
He noted GITI has original equipment fitments with 20 car companies in China as well as General Motors Co. in South America, “and we are poised to make an entry into the North American OE market,” he said.
To illustrate the company's growing stature, he said GM named GITI a Supplier of the Year in 2006 and 2007.
In North America, GITI sells upwards of 8 million units a year of passenger tires, including UHP, SUV, light truck and truck/bus tires, Mr. McNamara said.
To further service its customers, he added, the company is looking to add a second distribution center in the U.S. by 2011, either in the Midwest or East.
During the Arizona event, GITI also showcased the GT Radial Champiro 228 Touring tire, which it introduced about eight months ago.