SEMA Show, Day Three: Pirelli's Pessi outlines U.S. goals
Mauro Pessi is back with Pirelli after a two-year stint at Brembo SpA, and he says it feels like he never left.
Pessi, the new CEO of Pirelli Tire North America, started with Pirelli & Cie SpA in 1991 in the tire sector. Between 1998-2000, he was vice president of marketing for Pirelli's United States-based subsidiary.
When he left Pirelli two years ago, he was CEO of the company's South American business in San Paulo, Brazil, overseeing the company's largest market.
He returned to Pirelli just as additional tariffs were being imposed on Chinese consumer tire imports. Pirelli manufactured its P4 and P5 touring tires in its year-old China factory, which represented 20% of the company's shipments in the United States.
Pessi says 50% of that volume will be transferred to Pirelli's manufacturing base in Brazil. Production of the other 50% will stay in China, partially offset by the company's recent 10% price increase. "And I'm expecting the industry to lift up the prices," he added.
Modern Tire Dealer interviewed Pessi at the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show, where he outlined his plans for the U.S. They are consistent with the company's strengths:
* to sell solely through independent tire dealers, who are the "key ingredient" to the company's success.
* to stick with the Pirelli brand. "We don't want to be the entry-level line for any dealer."
He wants to increase market share -- but not more than necessary.
"If I could reach 4%, max 5%, I think we will have accomplished our goal in the United States, but that is far from where we are now."
Pessi added that he also wants to grow the company in a "sustainable way," generate cash and profts for the company, and "manage the brand in a profitable way for our dealers."