Jim Mayfield, head of sales and marketing at Giti, says the China-oriented manufacturer is relying on its solid reputation and its existing relationships with automakers to win business in North America, despite being a newcomer.
"We do a lot of OE business around the world, so we have relationships with many OEMs," Mayfield said. "In China alone, we are one of the largest OEM suppliers, so we have relationships and we utilize those relationships to help facilitate the development of the business here in North America."
Cicero says Triangle, with a management staff of U.S. tire industry veterans and its own reputation to brandish, is confident it can grow in North America.
"The U.S. is unquestionably a mature tire market with many established manufacturers. However, the Triangle value proposition is a strong one," Cicero said.
But building a U.S. plant is complicated for some at the moment. This year, China's Wanli Tire Group halted its project to build a $1 billion plant in South Carolina. Its unexplained move has spurred speculation that Wanli is spooked — as other Chinese firms are this year — by U.S.-Chinese trade tensions.