Giti Augment Fleet Offering with New Products and Services

Giti Tony McHugh

Commercial Tyre Business has always had a great relationship with Giti Tire, and a few weeks ago, Richard Wilson Editor of Commercial Tyre Business spoke at length with Tony McHugh TBR Sales and Marketing Director for Giti UK and Ireland predominantly about the company’s mixed-service operations, before conversation turned to their new van product and the continued development and enhancement of their product portfolio.

McHugh: “We have seen things go back to how it was prior to COVID”

Since our last update from Giti had been pre-the CV Show 2019 and before the COVID-19 pandemic, we started on a well-known path discussing how Giti had faced up to the crisis as well looking at their strategy entering and coming out the other side of the pandemic. McHugh underlined that although Giti had been affected and that they were still working from home, the crisis has opened up new channels and ways of operating.

McHugh said, “We took action on the 17th of March last year (2020), when we decided to work from home, and we’ve not got back in the office yet. But the good thing is that it’s opened up new channels and new ways of operating.”

McHugh admitted that despite difficulties in the early period of the lockdown that from May onwards, the manufacturer started to see a ‘slow recovery’ in the demand for tyres, which resulted in demand actually recovering to Pre-COVID levels by late-summer. Part of the quick recovery could be explained by McHugh’s insight into how quickly fleets organised themselves to operate in a COVID environment, where social distancing and hygiene are top priorities.

“I think it was fleets that began organising themselves quickly saying, ‘how are we going to operate and how are we going to share cabs between drivers.’ That’s the feedback I got. Now they (the fleets) are just getting on with it. They have put everything in place for themselves to operate and we have seen things go back to how it was prior to COVID.”

Giti Tire

Despite the difficulties seen across the board, the construction side of Giti’s business has been one that has experienced less impact, according to McHugh. This has been in part due to the continued activity seen in the sector following the first lockdown. McHugh explained, “I think the construction side of the businesses has been one that has just carried on, following on from that initial period when the country came to a halt. You’ve only got to look around and buildings are going up everywhere in construction.”

Port and Container Chaos Causing Problems Throughout the Industry

During Commercial Tyre Business’s reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic, we have interviewed various tyre manufacturers who have spoken about picking up business following a competitor’s shortfall in production. We asked Tony McHugh if Giti had seen a similar trend during the last 16 months. McHugh confirmed that Giti had experienced the same, explaining that the supply and transportation issues seen behind these shortfalls that have predominately been seen at the ports was something that that all suppliers were having to face up to.

“Yes, absolutely. It would be fair to say we have. But at the same time, we are all controlled by the ports. The ports had a big influence in our service level because I think it would be fair to say Felixstowe was in turmoil, and there are many problems at other ports.”

He added, “We have suffered as has everyone else. So, we gained some business, but that is not a long-term gain as far as I’m concerned. There were tyres on the shelf at the time, and you’ve got to sell them.”

The container crisis has been well-covered in Commercial Tyre Business with regards to how it has wielded its impact on the various segments within the industry. The latest reports from the Wall Street Journal on July 5th showed that “the average price world-wide to ship a 40-foot container has more than quadrupled from a year ago, to $8,399 as of July 1, according to a global pricing index by London-based Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd.”

Returning to the supply of tyres, McHugh clarified that although that the market has stabilised, port issues and shipping in general were still complex issues. “I think it is still a problem, and it is one that has affected everyone. The situation has softened slightly, but the problem is still there today. It hasn’t gone away.”

GAM831, GAM851 and GDM686 Leading Giti’s Offer in Mixed Services

Steering away from the shipping issue, Commercial Tyre Business asked McHugh to detail the latest product offerings for Giti in the mixed services segment. McHugh began by discussing the announcement of the latest version of the GAM831, characterised by long service life and high resistance against tread tearing and cutting from usage in mixed service applications. The tyre’s great casing protection against external impacts make it a good option in the all-round mixed service segment.


The next generation GAM831 was launched in February 2021 following extensive testing with Giti’s EU fleet partners, so that according to McHugh Giti could offer a “mixed service tyre that operates equally well in mild and severe applications.”

Complementing the GAM831 is the GAM851, which once again has a long operating life delivering good mileage, impressive resistance to tread tearing, impacts and casing damage in on/off road conditions and is rounded off by its good winter properties in both steer and trailer applications. The TBR Sales and Marketing Director for Giti UK and Ireland commented that the GAM851 was “proving to be a very good player in the marketplace with its mileage performance.”

The final tyre making up Giti’s mixed-service range is the GDM686, which in the words of the manufacturer is “an aggressive directional deep tread drive axle pattern for on-off road applications.” The tyre provides high levels of grip in rough terrains, as well as in wintry conditions, and added to this its anti-chip and cut compound along with a strong casing make it a great option for retreading. McHugh added, “the 686 is a drive axle tyre which has been around for a long time and has been very popular with fleets, in particular tipper fleets.”

So, what are mixed-service fleets looking for? Endurance is the buzzword for McHugh in this segment.

He says, “We’re always in contact with fleets. We are talking a lot with mixed-service fleets, and they are looking for endurance as a key performance characteristic. Mileage is nice if we get it, but endurance is key. If the tyre becomes damaged halfway through its life, it doesn’t matter what mileage is done.”

Besides the endurance and resistance of Giti’s products in the segment, another key facet of the range is the construction of the tyre and the good casing value that casing collectors are putting on Giti’s tyres, with the tyre’s retreadability offering further value for money for the operator.


“The acceptance rate on our mixed service range is very high, which is a compliment to the construction of the tyre,” said McHugh. “From some of my conversations with some tipper fleets, they have gone down the lower cost route, with the product not lasting as long, resulting in no casing value, whereas we are offering a casing value on our products.

“Casing collectors are putting a good value on our products, which puts us in a strong position as not too many mixed-service casings have a value to them, but Giti is an exception,” he added.

With a strong product line-up in the shape of the GAM831, GAM851 and GDM686, McHugh highlighted that Giti works closely with fleets to make sure that the operator has the right tyre for the job. “If it’s a tanker or a tipper trailer, we make sure we get the right application. That’s the key. If you’re using a mixed-service application, you need a mixed-service application tyre. We don’t just sell a product, put it on and say, “it will do a job”. The key is that it won’t perform as well as the right application tyre, and that is how we come to market.”

It’s an approach that not only makes sense but will further enhance an in-built strength in Giti’s casing acceptance rate. Using a tyre that is not suitable for the application will only mean that the tyre will suffer from extra damage and result in a lower casing acceptance rate, which, as we have already touched upon, is a strength that Giti won’t want to undermine.

Giti Van and Retread Products Complement Fleet Approach

Besides Giti’s mixed service offerings, the company has recently rolled out a Giti Van product which covers the top 20 van sizes. This, in McHugh’s words, was “brought in to support the fleet approach”. This has meant that the company has now given fleets the opportunity to have their trucks and vans all on Giti products with the Giti and GT Radial brands.

McHugh stated, “It’s new and is something that has caught me out a little bit because it has been extremely popular with fleets which are exclusively on one brand. It has been a great success and one we hope to grow in 2022.

“We brought the product in to support the GT Radial brand, as if a customer cannot get a GT Radial product, it can still fit a Giti product onto the vans”.


On the retread side of the product range, McHugh revealed that the 215/70 Genesis GDR 691, which is due to replace the Genesis GDR 690, is about to enter the market. McHugh expanded, “The Genesis GDR 691 is just coming into the marketplace, so we have quite a bit going on at the moment. We’re always looking at new developments and have a few of those in the pipeline which we hope to be announcing towards the end of the year.”

The van and retread products strengthen what is already a strong option for fleets in the marketplace for Giti, and it is here where Giti’s focus will be for 2022 says McHugh.

“Our goals are to continue focusing on the fleet and our fleet approach. We have been working very closely with the fleets, and I would like to think we have had a lot of success.

“The focus in 2022 and to the end of this year will be on our fleet offering, and I do believe that we have a complete offering from the product quality to the overall product range, as well as the retread, casing and breakdown programmes. We offer everything the fleet can ask for. Why wouldn’t you consider Giti?”

About the author

Richard Wilson is the deputy editor for Commercial Tyre Business. Since 2015, Richard has worked as a correspondent for all of the titles across the Valebridge Publications Ltd Group namely: Retreading Business, Tyre & Rubber Recycling, The Tyreman and Truck and Bus News. Richard has worked on/off from the age of 16 for the company and whilst gaining a Bachelor's Degree in Spanish and Business Studies at Coventry University, he developed his writing skills at the University paper and more recently writing his own independent blog.


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