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Pirelli has big plans for North and South America

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Top executives from Pirelli & C. SpA. talked about the company's positioning in Latin America during a conference call in Italy March 15.

Chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera and Chief Operating Officer Francesco Gori were on hand to talk about Pirelli's seven tire plants in the area, plus its activity in Mexico.

Sales in Pirelli Latin America totaled $2.2 billion last year, a 20% increase compared to 2009. (Overall, Latin America represented 34% of the Pirelli Tyre business unit's $6.3 billion in sales.) Brazil and Argentina accounted for more than 80% of the total sales in Latin America.

Five of Pirelli's seven plants in Latin America are located in Brazil. In 2010, the company announced it would  invest $300 million in its Brazil plants between 2011 and 2013.

At present, Pirelli’s factories in Brazil account for approximately 90% of production in the region. Of this, more than 35% is exported to the United States, Canada and Mexico, to original equipment manufacturers (General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., Mercedes-Benz USA LLC and Volkswagen of America Inc.) and Pirelli's "Official Dealer Network."

Here are the bullet points of Pirelli's Latin American message.

*  Pirelli’s seven plants in the area (in addition to Brazil, there are facilitie in Argentina and Venezuela) produced more than 400,000 tons of tires for cars, SUVs, vans, agricultural vehicles, industrial vehicles, trucks, buses and motorcycles. This represented approximately 40% of Pirelli’s global output.

* In 2010, Pirelli celebrated a century of industrial activity in Argentina, and announced investments of $100 million dollars through 2013. This will mainly go toward increasing production capacity at the Merlo OE and replacement tire facility, which accounted for nearly 10% of production in Latin America.

*  From 2011 through 2013, Pirelli will invest $40 million in Latin America for "the protection of the environment, and health and safety in the workplace."

Pirelli Tire North America's sales totaled $630 million in 2010, an increase of 25% from 2009 and equal to 10% of Pirelli Tyre’s total sales.

Pirelli's production facility in Siao, Guanajuato, Mexico, is scheduled to begin production in the second quarter of 2012. The initial investment in the approximately 120,000-square-meter plant is $210 million dollars; it is expected to generate 700 direct jobs and 300 indirect ones, according to Pirelli.

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