ROME, Ga. (May 8, 2003)—Seeking a bigger foothold in the U.S. original-equipment market, Pirelli Tire North America Inc. added Ford Motor Co.'s Focus as its eighth OE fitment since November.
The P6 Four Seasons, size P205/50R16 87H, will be standard equipment on the Focus ZTS and optional on the ZX3, SE and ZX5 models, Rome-based Pirelli said.
Pirelli tires also are offered on Ford's Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, Lincoln Towncar, Ford Excursion SUV, and Super Duty F-250 and F-350 pickups as
well as DaimlerChrysler's Dodge Ram SRT-10 pickup. The four passenger vehicles use the P6 Four Seasons line, while the others are outfitted with Scorpion STR light truck tires.
In addition to those fitments, several European auto makers also offer the P6 Four Seasons tires as OE on their cars for North America.
A Pirelli spokesman said other OE fitments from various makes and models will be announced within the next six months.
“This is a whole new attack for OE in the U.S.,” he said.
The push comes along with the launch of Pirelli's Modular Integrated Roboticized System plant in Rome last year as well as marketing opportunities and the launch of the all-season tires.
The all-season version of the P6 tire was launched last summer, and the Scorpion STR was unveiled in March, the spokesman said. “Since then, it's been a huge success, especially (in the U.S.),” he said of the P6 tire.
The all-season tire helped Pirelli further dip into the U.S. market, where about 75 percent of tires are all-season. In Europe, 75 percent of tires are seasonal.
The tires for the Ford Focus will be manufactured at Pirelli's factory in Brazil, the company said, and shipped to Ford plants in Hermosillo, Mexico, and Wayne, Mich.