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Pirelli begins manufacturing high performance tires in Romania

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Pirelli Tyre SpA has officially started manufacturing consumer tires in at its new facility in Slatina (Olt Province), Romania. The plant will produce "top-of-the-range" tires for cars and SUVs.

The new Slatina plant, located close to the joint venture steel-cord facility operated by Pirelli and Continental AG, applies leading-edge, non-robotised production technologies. It is designed to produce a broad range of high performance tires, including winter, ultra-high performance and SUV tires.

The industrial complex, including the steel-cord facility, covers an area of 500,000 square meters. By the end of the year, it will employ approximately 770 personnel; 450 will be involved in tire production.

Output in 2006 will be 300,000 tires, rising to two million in 2007. When fully operational, the new 179 million euro facility will have an annual output capacity of 4.5 million high performance tires. Exports will exceed 90% of output.

Pirllie says Slatina represents a key industrial location for the Pirelli Group. Slatina "will, in time, become one of the world's biggest production centres for car tires," and will enable Pirelli to "step up its output capacity in response to market demand in the top-end segments."

The Slatina complex is strategically located for serving markets in both Western and Eastern Europe, where Pirelli says the big car makers are increasingly adding production capacity.

In addition, Pirelli strongly believes that in the next few years, Central and Eastern European countries will become a major market for high performance tires. "Local demand is set to exceed 10% per year."

Consequently, Pirelli adds it intends to develop the potential of the Slatina area by setting up, alongside its industrial operations, a platform of logistics, data-processing, and sales services to support expansion in these countries.

Pirelli has 24 production facilities in 12 countries.

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