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Supply shouldn't be a problem, says Pirelli's Mannino

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Financial data from Pirelli Tire North America Inc. has yet to be released by its parent company. However, 2004 was a banner year for the Rome, Ga.-based company, according to CEO and President Guy Mannino.

(Pirelli & Cie SpA's board of directors will examine the company's preliminary and unaudited financial results for 2004 on Feb. 25.)

In Akron, Ohio, for a mini-press tour, Mannino and Peter Tyson, vice president of advertising, public relations and motorsports, say Pirelli plans to build on its 2004 momentum.

Mannino is confident ongoing plant expansions in Romania, China and Brazil will allow Pirelli to meet demand from its retail and original equipment customers in North America.

Pirelli will concentrate on supplying its existing dealers first, then increasing its retail base. The independent tire dealer channel continues to be the company's focus, adds Mannino.

Additional supply also will be available from Pirelli's 440,000-square-foot MIRS (Modular Integrated Robotized System) plant in Rome.

The almost totally automated facility added a fourth tire production module in December. The new line will be dedicated principally to the Scorpion Zero SUV line. Full production of the new line, which will include a 26-inch size, is expected in June 2005.

Pirelli has domestic original equipment contracts with Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp. and Daimler-Chrysler ("New Chevy Cobalt adds to PirelliĀ“s domestic OE fitments" in the Jan. 4, 2005, news archives).

The Pirelli brand increased both its broad-line and high performance tire market share in the U.S. in 2004, according to Modern Tire Dealer statistics.

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