Pirelli Truck Tires: They Aren’t Here Yet, But They Could Be One Day
It seems likely Pirelli truck tires will be sold in the U.S., one of the largest tire markets in the world, eventually. The merger between China National Chemical Corp. and Pirelli & Cie SpA will see to that.
Pirelli was the 15th or 16th largest truck tire manufacturer worldwide before the two companies began talking about a partnership. By selling a significant interest in the company to China National Chemical, ChemChina for short, it has become the fourth or fifth largest. (ChemChina is expected to have a majority interest in Pirelli by mid-October.)
Pirelli CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera orchestrated the sale to ChemChina six months ago. At the time, he said greatly increasing Pirelli’s share of the Asian truck tire market was of critical importance to the company.
He added Pirelli truck tires may one day be sold in the U.S.
At Autopromotec 2015 in Bologna, Italy, Pirelli hosted its own truck tire booth, giving U.S. commercial dealers a glimpse of what they might see one day. Not only were tires displayed; Pirelli also showcased its Novateck precure and Novatread mold cure truck tire retreads.
MC:01 vs. MC88
Pirelli launched an urban bus tire, the MC:01, at Autopromotec. The company said the tire is Pirelli’s answer to Europe’s “constantly changing cityscapes, which are investing more heavily in public transport to offer a dependable service that boosts sustainability.”
The MC:01 features next-generation technology. Compared to its predecessor, the MC88, it has a longer tread life, lower rolling resistance and greater resistance to impacts, including lateral impacts. It also is superior in ride comfort, wet and dry traction and retreadability.
The innovations brought to the MC:01 by Pirelli’s engineers include:
DLTC (dual layer tread compounding), with a new proprietary compound for the external layer and a 100% silica “undertread.”
The latest SATT (Spiral Advanced Technology for Truck) structure, which features the 3SB (three sandwich belt) design for even wear, long tread life, retreadability and steering precision.
The truck tire is available in one size: 275/70R22.5 XL.
Pirelli has focused its expansion on the truck tire markets in South America and the MEA (Middle East and Africa) countries the last few years because of their estimated annual growth: 3.7% and 2.4%, respectively, through 2017.
The ChemChina merger will increase its market share in China. Pirelli says it is still too early to give a more concrete or definitive answer to the question of whether or not it will participate in the U.S. replacement truck tire market. But it has the production capacity and the cradle-to-grave product offerings to do so. ■