Giti are an Asian manufacturer of car, 4x4 and truck tyres, with their head offices located in Singapore. The brand originally started as a budget brand, but their growth pattern has now established them in the mid range sector. They're in the top 10 tyre manufacturers globally with revenue in 2014 of $3.45 billion, have over 33,000 employees in 20 countries, and 4 R&D centres in Germany, America, Indonesia and China.
Recently Tyre Reviews was invited to race in the VW Fun Cup championship, which is sponsored by Giti Tire, and features a car run by their leading mass-market European brand, GT Radial.
The VW Fun Cup is a one make Europe wide motorsport championship running specifically designed race cars with a VW Beetle body on top. Giti started sponsoring the Fun Cup in 2016, and in 2017 GT Radial entered their own car into the UK championship to both help promote the brand in the UK, and invite journalists like myself the opportunity to try motorsport.
The entire process was effortlessly managed by GT Radial, from the ARDs test, racewear, and right up to the first race of the season at Silverstone.
The tyre everyone is using is the Giti GitiCompete GTR2, which originally started its life in an Australian V8 championship and had the compound and tread pattern adapted for the Fun Cup following testing conducted at Oulton Park and Horiba MIRA. This compound was selected due to its ability to last the duration of a Fun Cup endurance race, while still providing great dry and wet grip. The pattern was also adapted to handle the wet weather of a UK championship.
Having personally experienced the GTR2 in the heat of Silverstone and the rain of Snetterton, the only disappointment from the tyre is that it's not available for sale in the UK (yet.) As a track tyre, it was near faultless. In the dry it performed consistently lap after lap, and easily handled a 6 hour endurance race without any degradation in performance. The real surprise was in the wet, where even in changeable conditions the tyre was still fast, and more importantly predictable, allowing you to drive at the limit of grip without any surprises (other than the surprising rivers Snetterton is famous for!)
While we can't buy the GTR2 (or any Giti) tyre in the UK yet, the good news is the products available in our market under the GT Radial brand are equally as well engineered.
The GT Radial Sport Active is the company's ultra high performance sport tyre, aimed firmly at the space Kumho and Toyo sit. After the recent product launch in Ascari, Spain, I had these thoughts on the tyre.
GT Radial’s other new product is the GT Radial Savero SUV, which is their latest tyre for the rapidly growing SUV and 4x4 on-road market. This tyre was launched in Barcelona in Spain, and you can read our thoughts on the new SUV tyre here.
GT Radial / Giti might be the best tyre manufacturer you've never heard of. Their brand recognition is slowly growing in the UK, and while they might not be matching the premium brands for all round performance, their price / performance ratio should be of concern to manufacturers such as Toyo, Kumho and Nexen. I'm looking forward to trying more GT Radial products, and potentially some Giti tyres, in the not too distant future. A brand to watch.