Your customers may not know the brand GT Radial but the company’s management is banking on that changing very soon.
During the last week of March, Giti Tire USA, parent company of the GT Radial brand, invited members of the media, tire dealers and distributors out to Charlotte, North Carolina to not only tour the company’s plant just south in Richburg, South Carolina, but also to test its newest tire – The Maxtour LX.
Following the launch of its all-season counterpart in 2015, the Maxtour LX is a grand touring tire for CUVs and passenger cars, which will be available to consumers April 4. Together with the Maxtour All-Season, both tires provide 97% volume coverage of the top 20 all-season replacement tires in the U.S, according to Giti. During a ride-and-drive that debuted the Maxtour LX at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Giti also promised that the tire would bring in money for dealers while offering the consumer a low price option compared to its competitors.
“The way we’re going to do it is to provide a great value for our dealer customers to be able to make money selling the tire, and it’s going to be sold in the marketplace at a great value to the consumer,” said Jim Mayfield, Giti’s senior vice president of sales and marketing. “So, we get our tires in the market, consumers experience them, and over time, we’ll be able to build the brand how we want to as we launch new and exciting products. We’ll build this brand in the way we believe it can be built.”
To push the tire to its limits, event attendees tested its handling and wet braking performance on an autocross course against two of the tire’s competitors in the touring segment. Professional drivers also drove participants on the speedway’s infield course to feel the tire’s characteristics at peak performance.
The tire’s key characteristics include:
- An asymetric tread pattern tuned for all-season performance;
- Full-depth sipes that provide grip throughout the life on the tire;
- Stiff outer tread blocks for enhanced handling and steering response;
- Additional shoulder channels to help with water evacuation;
- Independent shoulder grooves that improve handling;
- Harmonically optimized pitch sequencing to reduce road noise;
- And a high modulus body ply construction that absorbs road impacts for enhanced ride comfort.
In addition to providing dealers with a suite of point-of-sale materials to sell the Maxtour LX, Mayfield said Giti will also incentivize dealers for selling the tire. Its pre-launch promotion, which started Jan. 15, allowed dealers to pre-order tires and get a discount on their purchase for buying certain quantities. Starting April 1, Giti will start a sell-in promotion followed by a sell-out promotion that lasts until June 30 to further incentivize dealers to sell out of the product. Coupled with in-store marketing, Giti is also promoting the Maxtour LX in print and digital platforms including on social media.
Dealers will also be able to sell the Maxtour LX at a value price, Mayfield said. After studying the retail pricing across 12 sizes that the tire has in common with its competitors, Giti benchmarked the price of the Maxtour LX to be lower than its competitors.
“We’re in the early stages of rebuilding the GT Radial brand,” Mayfield said. “The last three years have impacted us severely in the ability to supply tires to our dealers. Those days are over. The company has figured out what our go-forward strategy is, and it’s time to start connecting to consumers again and bringing them the message of some great tires that we’ll be bringing to market and selling.”
The Maxtour LX fits 15- to 20-in. rim diameters and comes in more than 40 sizes, including key all-season growth sizes—such as 235/45R18 and 235/50R18—outside of the top 20 all-season sizes. The tire’s has a H- and V-speed rating and has a UTQG of 600 A A.
The tire also comes with a 70,000-mile tread life, 24/7 roadside assistance and a road hazard warranty. Giti says target vehicle fitments include the Honda Accord and CRV, Toyota Camry, Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape and the Chevy Traverse.
For more information, visit maxtourlx.com.