Giti, which earlier this year committed $560 million to build a plant in South Carolina, stressed that it has a “long-term commitment to the U.S. market, its customers, the American consumer and its American workforce.” Giti Tire is the Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based subsidiary of Singapore-based Giti Tire Group, which produces tires in China and Indonesia.
Miami-based Sentury Tire, a subsidiary of Qingdao Sentury Tire Co. Ltd., said the decision “hasn't dampened Sentury's…commitment to its U.S. distributors and dealers” and that it is “committed to delivering high quality tires at an affordable price” despite the duties, according to Director of Sales Maxwell Wee.
Wee noted that Sentury is moving to an expanded warehouse and office complex in Miami in January and will be unveiling new programs and products to support its Delinte and Landsail brands.
He said the firm feels this action penalizes tire customers who have come to depend on Sentury's brands and pedged that Sentury Tire will “do all that's humanly possible to maintain a program that works for our tire distributors and dealers.”
Houston-based Horizon Tire, whose China-sourced brands include Aoteli, Antares, Crosswind, Herovic and Sotera, said the big loser in this action will be U.S. consumers who can least afford the upcoming price increases on tires sold in the U.S., Chinese or otherwise.
“The tariff end result will only prove to be a ‘de facto' tax increase to U.S. consumers,” Horizon said.
The importer/wholesaler said it believes pricing levels ultimately will revert to the pre-tariff tier levels 1, 2 and 3 as the U.S. market adjusts pricing to include products sourced from all over the world. The company said it is confident its sales will not decrease in the coming year and could even improve as many brokers and distributors turn to suppliers that are committed to being in the U.S. market.
At the same time, Horizon took steps to protect itself against the seeming inevitability of U.S. action by having Shandong Linglong Tyre Co. Ltd. move production of Horizon's Crosswind brand to Linglong's new factory in Thailand.
“This is not to say that Chinese made products will not prove to be viable products for sale in the U.S. moving forward,” the distributor added.
Omni United, whose portfolio includes the Corsa, Goodride and Radar brands, said the “quantum of the [duties] surprised us, but we are still trying to understand its full implication in the short, medium and long term,” according to Scott Rhodes, vice president of sales.
Rhodes noted it is difficult to make business plans at this time because of the still outstanding issue of antidumping duties.
He said Omni United is “committed to continuing to serve our customers in the best and least disruptive way. As a company we have diverse geographical manufacturing in place to combat geo-political risks and we will not be making any changes in our business model at this time.”