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Pirelli: in the black in North America in 2003

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Pirelli Tire North America finished in the black in 2003, and Guy Mannino sees the momentum carrying into 2004.

In Modern Tire Dealer's April issue, analyst Saul Ludwig mistakenly stated that Pirelli lost money in North America last year. However, Mannino, CEO and president, says an enrichment of the company's mix, including increased ultra-high performance tire and Scorpion Zero sizes, helped spur positive financial results.

(Net income for Pirelli Tire North America totaled $13.37 million in 2003.)

He says original equipment fitments boosted demand among the P Zero family. "There are more OE fitments coming through this year."

In January, Pirelli announced it would be supplying Ford Motor Co. with two original equipment tires. P Zero Neros, in size P235/55ZR17, will be OE on the 2005 Ford Mustang GT. Various P6 Four Seasons sizes will be OE on the 2005 Mercury Montego, Ford Focus ST and Ford Freestyle.

The P Zero Neros for the Mustang will be made at Pirelli's automated MIRS (Modular Integrated Robotized System) plant in Rome, Ga.

"We are working on other fitments," adds Mannino.

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