Made in Chester County: Giti Tire to build in Richburg

The name of the much-touted “Project Summer” is Singapore-based Giti (pronounced “Geetee”) Tire. The unveiling (literally) of the company that is expected to create some 1,700 jobs and invest $560 million in Chester County was made at the press conference at the Gateway Conference Center in Richburg on Monday.
Giti Tire, the 10th largest tire company in the world, will establish its first North American manufacturing facility in Chester County at the I-77 Mega Site.
The company plans to invest $560 million and create 1,700 new jobs over the next decade in order to meet the growing demand of the North American market.
 The company announced its plans today during an event at the GATEWAY Conference Center in Richburg, where state and local officials – including Gov. Nikki Haley and Singapore’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ashok Kumar Mipuri – joined to celebrate Giti’s location decision.
Based in Singapore, Giti Tire will produce both passenger and light truck tires for the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and replacement markets in the Chester County plant. The new facility, which will be located on the Carolinas I-77 Mega Site, will combine manufacturing and distribution activities, with total building area estimated to be 1.8 million square feet.
 During the first phase of production, the plant’s capacity is expected to be five million tires annually. Giti Tire plans to further increase production capacity in response to future market demand and conditions. The Chester County facility represents Giti’s ninth manufacturing plant in its global system.
Dr. Enki Tan, the executive chairman of the Giti Tire Group, joined Governor Haley and Chester County Supervisor Carlisle Roddey in the unveiling of the company name and logo. The unveiling was greeted with applause by the audience assembled.
“What a day it is for Chester County,” Roddey said in his remarks.
“Giti Tire has been a great company to work with.” Roddey thanked Governor Haley, Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt, Chester County Council and economic director Karlisa Parker for their work in getting Giti Tire to Chester County.
“There’s never been anything like this in Chester County. You just don’t know what this means to us in Chester County,” Roddey told Dr. Tan, “we’ve been a bridesmaid so many times that we could fill up a landfill with all the bouquets, but this one, we’re going to frame.”
Roddey told the crowd he would be undergoing back surgery this week, and hopefully, he would be in recovery late tomorrow, “but if I’m not, I’m still going to have a great day today.”
Tom McNamara, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Giti Tire USA introduced an informative video about Giti Tire  showing their the plants, offices and R&D facilities around the world. When the video zeroed in on a map of South Carolina with the legend, ‘Future plant, Chester County, South Carolina’ the room broke out into applause, and again when the legend read ‘Made in Chester County’.
Dr. Tan said good morning to the dignitaries assembled, including the Governor, Congressman Mick Mulvaney, local and state officials and in a friendly manner, then turned to the Chester County Supervisor and said “Morning, Carlisle.”
“Giti is a family company. It was started by a family in 1951, and has been a family company for 60-plus years. We treat our employees like family. We build tires in Indonesia and ship all around the world,” he said.
“We’re going to make this plant in Chester the best we’ve ever had.”
Dr. Tan continued, “with the best people, we know we’re going to get the best products.”
He said the choice to bring the plant to Chester came down to several criteria: “one of the reasons, Chester has an ample workforce, a very skilled and dedicated workforce. South Carolina has a strong track record of producing world-class products that everybody wants to buy, that’s another reason.
“When it came down to the final decision, the most important reason was the people of Chester and the people of South Carolina. The friendliness and family atmosphere really helped us be comfortable and helped us to be confident this is the right place for us.”
In her remarks, S.C. Governor Nikki Haley said she promised the executives of Giti Tire, “this is a county with good people,” and promised them “you’ll see, when Giti Tire makes their announcement, the people of this county will wrap their arms around you.”
Governor Haley told the citizens of Chester County, “you deserve this.”

By Brian Garner, Staff Reporter with The News & Reporter