End-users are prioritising cost-per-kilometre, price-performance ratio, training and long-term service and support over price alone

Tyres, Total cost of ownership, Giti, Vehicle performance

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Singapore-based Giti Tire has had a strong presence in the Middle East for more than 25 years, selling different brands in the region. With a full range of passenger car, SUV/4x4, and commercial truck and bus tires produced in eight factories in China, Indonesia, and the US, Giti Tire is poised to continue growing its brand presence in the Middle East, where it has dedicated distribution partners in all major markets. Adding into its 35,000 global employees and 12 offices around the world, Giti Tire recently established a local Middle East office in Dubai.

For commercial trucks and buses, Giti offers tyres for long haul, regional, urban, mixed service, and off-road applications. The GAM833, for example, is an all-position tyre designed for on-and-off road vehicles, particularly, dumpers, cement mixers, and dumper trailers, and tailored to the Middle East’s unique heat and terrain conditions. The GSR225 caters to long-haul and regional applications on all-wheel positions and is available in various sizes to fit fleets of all types. The tyre has a specially formatted tread compound and four-belt construction that provides mileage, durability, and wear resistance.

For utility vans and light trucks where the major concerns of fleet operators are load-bearing ability, mileage, and durability, popular Giti Tire models include the GitiUtility 668v1, which is designed for light trucks in all-seasons and weather conditions, and the GitiVan 600v1, which is designed for high-speed commercial vans traveling on varied road conditions.

Chris Bloor, executive director of international sales and marketing, explains how Giti’s commercial vehicle tires are suited to the wide range of applications in this region.

“Fleet owners in the Middle East face increasing operational costs and the need to comply with stricter safety and emission regulations. To remain competitive, they need tyres that can offer the best performance and endurance in the region’s harsh temperature and road conditions as well as retreadability to extend tyre life as much as possible. In addition, they need strong after-sales support to ensure their operations run in a smooth, safe and efficient manner. As customers demand more from their tyres, we need to strengthen our ability to provide vital assistance to fleet operators,” says Bloor.

Giti Tire recently opened its first Giti flagship store in Dubai Investment Park, in partnership with UAE-based auto service provider Amin Auto Care, which caters to UAE fleets such as Dubai Taxi, Cars Taxi, National Car Rental, Massar Solutions, Al Ghurair, and Arabian Automobiles.

According to Bloor, the flagship store in Dubai is symbolic of Giti opening new doors across the region.

“The Middle East has a large and diverse consumer market, It is also is a competitive market, with the presence of a large number of companies in both the high-end and entry-level price segments. Therefore, this region will always be important to Giti Tire’s objectives and providing top service in this region which will continue to be a major focus, across all tyre types and segments. We differentiate ourselves through local partnerships that can provide high visibility for our brand and drive customer engagement. Giti’s retail store programme carefully selects only the stores with best service and customer experience,” says Bloor.

Bloor elaborates on tyre purchasing trends in the Middle East and Giti Tire’s price vs value proposition for this market.  

“The trend of wholesale purchasing based on price alone and ignoring service has plagued the Middle East markets for years, leading to an influx of cheap and low-quality tyres. However, we see a shift in customer behaviour as end-users are becoming more informed decision makers by prioritising other factors such as cost-per-kilometre, price-performance ratio, training, and long-term service and support,” says Bloor.

“In a highly competitive market, having great products alone is not enough to succeed. Giti has the advantage of offering a strong combination of product quality and service. Our dealers and end users appreciate our extensive training and support related to maximising tyre usage and increasing fuel efficiency,” he adds. 

Commercial vehicle fleet operators, in particular, are concerned about cost-per-kilometre while calculating tyre usage and vehicle mileage. However, they will not be able to achieve their desired results by only considering the initial selling price because low-quality and cheap tyres will not offer as much mileage as premium brands. Cheaper tyres also face a higher chance of failure, and a lack of ability for regrooving and/or retreading.

Giti Tire uses special Equal Force Casing (EFC) technology to create strong and re-usable casings. The advantages of this are that it provides high mileage during its first life as well as offers the ability to regroove and retread during its second and third life. Giti also provides the maintenance tools and service to protect the casing investment. With this long-term usage mindset, fleets can realize the greatest cost-per-kilometre savings, while still maintaining reliable tyre performance.

“Generally, customers realise the value in additional investment when we share success stories and case studies. It is important for us to give tyres the special attention it requires because it’s the only part of a vehicle that touches that road and affects the entire vehicle performance,” says Bloor.  

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PMV Middle East - June 2019

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