Imagine a dealership where only Pirelli tires are sold. In this world, customers receive white-glove treatment — literally. And million-dollar cars decorate the showroom.
That dealership is a reality in Los Angeles. It is called P Zero World, and despite its focus on Pirelli P Zero tires, it is owned by Claus Ettensberger, who is no stranger to the prestige side of the tire and wheel business.
As owner of CEC Wheels, he has been selling wheels and tires, including the Pirelli brand, for 25 years. As owner of P Zero World, he will continue to sell wheels and tires, but only one tire brand. And as much as possible, only one line.
“My goal is to make sure the end consumer is riding on P Zero’s,” he says.
Leveraging the brand
P Zero World is the company’s first tire shop in the world focused on prestige products and services. Los Angeles was chosen because, according to Pirelli, it is “the global capital of cinema, car design, technical innovation and a focal point in fashion and the arts.”
The highest concentration of luxury and sports cars in the world are located in the Los Angeles metro area. Future locations also will be decided using sophisticated geo-marketing tools.
The site for the next store already has been determined, says Paul Hembery, global motorsports and prestige project director. The big reveal will come at a later date.
“Los Angeles serves as the perfect backdrop for the launch of this project, as it provides the perfect mix of business related strategic elements — such as the high concentration of prestige vehicles — with an exciting and active car culture which produces passionate consumers and tastemakers,” says Hembery.
That clientele most appreciate the services and products that Pirelli offers, he adds.
The store itself
The 8,000-square-foot location is located on the site of Ettensberger’s previous CEC Wheels Tuning Center. (His warehouse remains a profit center under the Claus Ettensberger Corp. umbrella.) The store features the following:
- state-of-the-art retail design by architect Pierluigi Bonvicini, who also designed the CEC Wheels Tuning Center;
- three service bays for full-service repair (the previous store had two);
- an inventory of 400 Pirelli tires. If a customer wants a line of Pirelli tires not in inventory, there is a Pirelli warehouse 45 minutes away in Fontana, Calif.
- an espresso bar and deluxe waiting area; and
- a display of Pirelli’s full range of product.
Guests also will experience “a full brand immersion,” with the store showcasing Pirelli’s motorsports history, original equipment partnerships, the Pirelli Calendar, exotic vehicles and vintage advertising.
P Zero World, located close to Beverly Hills on Santa Monica Boulevard, marks a new stage in Pirelli’s “prestige strategy,” which is centered on what the company considers the world’s fastest growing tire segment — tires for sports cars, luxury cars and premium makes.
In the U.S. alone, the forecasted growth in the prestige tire segment is 11% in 2016, says Pierluigi Dinelli, chairman and CEO of Pirelli Tire North America Inc. “This new venture is part of an aggressive growth plan for Pirelli in North America and beyond,” he says. “P Zero World also speaks to a key part of Pirelli’s unique approach to the market — the strong expression of our corporate identity, which is tied deeply to both the innovative and the experiential. This new initiative brings the concept full circle with retail at the very heart of the brand.”
Pirelli estimates its market share of the global original equipment high and very high-end car segment is approximately 50%, thanks to its “perfect fit” OE philosophy: made-to-measure tires developed by the Italian group’s technicians for each specific model in cooperation with car makers’ own researchers.
Pirelli held a star-studded grand opening of the store on Thursday, July 14, 2016. To see additional photos from the event, visit MTD on Twitter @MTDMagazine and search for #pzeroworldla.