ROME (Oct. 4, 2001)—Trelleborg Wheel Systems S.p.A. will start marketing Pirelli-brand agricultural tires in North America later this year. Trelleborg Wheel Systems, an operating division of Sweden's Trelleborg A.B., gained the rights to the Pirelli trademark for farm and forestry tires in July when it acquired full control of the business that had been a 60/40 Trelleborg-Pirelli S.p.A. joint venture for three years.
Trelleborg Wheel Systems makes 900 radial farm tires daily at a former Pirelli plant in Tivoli, Italy. The announcement marks the return of the Pirelli brand to the agricultural market. Pirelli Tire North America had marketed farm tires in North America until 1994, when it exited the segment and leased a former Armstrong Tire plant in Des Moines, Iowa, to Titan International Inc. Titan bought the facility in 1999.
Trelleborg Wheel Systems did not say what range of tires it would offer initially. Trelleborg Wheel Systems, which also comprises Trelleborg´s industrial tire and wheel businesses—including the Trelleborg Monarch solid tire operations in Ohio—reported sales of $330 million last year, with an estimated 55 percent coming from the farm/forestry sector.