Giti Tire today announced that it plans to establish its first North American manufacturing facility in Chester County, South Carolina, with a $560 million investment. Over the next decade the company plans on hiring up to 1,700 employees to ramp up production. The Singapore-based company will produce both passenger and light truck tires in the new facility, which will combine manufacturing and distribution within its estimated 1.8 million square feet.
The company announced its plans today during an event at the GATEWAY Conference Center in Richburg, S.C., with Gov. Nikki Haley in attendance. Singapore's Ambassador to the U.S. Ashok Kumar Mipuri also joined the celebration.
Giti Tire Group has been making tires since 1951, and currently operates eight manufacturing facilities around the world that produce a broad range of tire products. It also sells to customers in more than 100 countries, and the expansion in the U.S. is part of a larger business plan to expand those opportunities throughout North America.
Giti Tire (USA) Ltd. is the sales and distribution arm of the company, selling GT Radial, Primewell, Dextero, and Runway tires for high-performance vehicles, in addition to passenger, SUV, light truck and medium truck tires.
Enki Tan, the executive chairman of Giti Tire Group, said in a statement: “This significant investment represents our strong commitment to customers in North America. This is a key milestone for Giti Tire and an important part of our growth strategy worldwide. Existing business and strong demand for Giti Tire's passenger and light truck tires in North America has made this significant investment in South Carolina possible. Giti Tire would like to thank Governor Haley, Secretary Hitt, the state and people of South Carolina, Chairman Roddey and the Chester County community for welcoming us.”
Once construction is completed, the company hopes the plant will be able to produce five million tires annually. That number will likely increase in response to future market demand and conditions.
Lei Huai Chin, managing director of Giti Tire Group, cited a number of factors as to why the company chose South Carolina — proximity to a technical college system and deep-water port facilities in Charleston were both major factors. Chin added: “Chester County is an excellent location for Giti Tire, offering extensive and efficient infrastructure network including interstate highways, rail, close proximity to airports and a major metropolitan area to support the company's needs and growth for many years to come.”
Gov. Nikki Haley was pleased with the announcement, stating, “This is another huge win for our state and Team South Carolina. We are the nation's tire capital, and Giti's decision to come to our state is another great sign that our economic development efforts are paying off for the hardworking people of South Carolina. We celebrate Giti Tire's $560 million investment that will create 1,700 new jobs in our growing tire industry.”
readySC will be assisting the company with the recruiting and training of its initial workforce. Interested applicants can visit www.readysc.org  for more information.
The Singapore-based company will produce both passenger and light truck tires in the new facility, which will combine manufacturing and distribution within its estimated 1.8 million square feet.