Giti Tire to hire 1,700 new staff for its South Carolina manufacturing plant

July 28, 2017

GitiSingaporean tyre manufacturer Giti Tire will be hiring 1,700 new staff over the coming decade to fill various positions in its US$560 million Richburg plant in Chester County, South Carolina in the US.

The Richburg plant is the company’s first North American manufacturing facility and ninth worldwide. The plant already has hired some workers to prepare the facility for production and is currently in a “hiring blitz” to get local workers who can run the manufacturing lines.

The 1,100-acre site is expected to begin production of passenger and light truck tyres later this year, with sales beginning in early 2018, according to David Dobradenka, a senior manager for Giti Tire USA.

During the first phase of production, the plant could make 5 million tyres annually, or around 30,000 a day. That number could quickly double, based on market demand, Dobradenka said.

The company recently landed a deal to produce two Gitityre sizes for the 2019 Volkswagen Passat. Production of the Passat tires could begin as early as January 2019, with sales beginning later that summer.

Other Giti brand tyres to be produced in Chester County will include: Primewell, Dextero, and GT Radial. These tyres could be on store shelves by the first quarter of 2018.

Giti has plans to expand its facility by around 2022 to house the projected 1,700 jobs, according to Karlisa Parker, the economic development director for Chester County. Those jobs include manufacturers, accountants, engineers, and other positions.

It’s not immediately clear what pay ranges those jobs could offer.

“From the start, they’ve always talked about the opportunity to double the plant,” Parker said.

Company officials say the Passat deal opens the door to several new possibilities. Landing a brand like Volkswagen lends the North America plant credibility and prestige, Dobradenka said.

“We’re very happy, as you can imagine,” he said. “Not only does this allow us to work with VW and others, we’re talking about… possibly a million tires a year, just for one program. This sort of thing can start escalating. For contracts like this, this bodes very well for employment.”

Equipment manufacturers have turned toward local suppliers because of the “Made in America” brand trust, he said.

South Carolina and Chester County worked with Giti for around three years to land the company.

The state’s Coordinating Council on Economic Development approved a US$37.8 million grant to help purchase and improve the mega site property. The Rural Infrastructure Authority approved a US$2 million grant to assist with extending water and sewer to the site.

The company also qualified for job development credits — for up to 10 years — to help offset the cost of locating a facility, buying equipment and training employees. The credits are based on the number of jobs created.

The current workers are going through a series of simulations to ensure efficiency once the plant starts producing later this year. Dobradenka said local Chester County residents are being considered for future jobs.

Giti officials previously said they considered the quality of the work force was a significant factor in choosing Chester County.

Workers began building the Giti plant more than two years ago, headlined by a celebration attended by former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and local and Giti officials. The site will hold a plant dedication ceremony this fall.

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