Pirelli Tire North America Inc. was set to begin functioning at its new headquarters in Rome April 15 as it prepared to launch new original equipment tire production at the site.
``There's a lot of tuning up to do,'' but Pirelli's first Modular Integrated Roboticized System production modules in the U.S. should begin turning out tires in July, said Gaetano Mannino, the North American subsidiary's president and CEO.
Pirelli will build up an employee base of about 400 over the next three years as it adds modules, up to a total of 17. ``The MIRS is a big commitment to the marketplace,'' Mr. Mannino said. ``It will be the largest MIRS plant in the Pirelli Group.''
Initial production will be for existing, replacement customers, but the MIRS modules soon will be focused on OE production. ``To sell to the OE business you have to have the right plants-we now have all the tools to go to Detroit and sell the products,'' he said.