DETROITPirelli Tyre S.p.A.'s strategy in North America was evident at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit as the tire maker debuted OE fitments on various models from Ford Motor Co., Mercedes-Benz USA L.L.C. and General Motors Co.'s Cadillac division.
We have a five-year plan for Pirelli in North America that centers on our partnerships, said David Colletti, senior director, original equipment, NAFTA region, Pirelli Tire North America.
We are very committed to our partnerships and relationships with both European and American car companies who have a presence in the North American region, Mr. Colletti said.
Our main goal for growth, therefore, is to be diversified among these manufacturers and continue building meaningful relationships with each company.
Pirelli has an estimated 4-percent share of the North American OE car and light truck tire market, according to Tire Business research.
Pirelli displayed its partnerships at the auto show, where the Pirelli P Zero was fitted on the BMW 7 series and X5; Mini Cooper Paceman; Bentley Continental GT; Audi R8, A6, RS7 and A8; Mercedes E63 and E-Class Coupe (P Zero Nero A/S); Cadillac CTS V-Sport; Ford Mustang; Lincoln MKZ (P Zero Nero A/S); Dodge SRT Viper (P-Zero Corsa); Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT; and Porsche Targa and Cayman.
We have strong partnerships with all of these companies. They want to show premium products and Pirelli is renowned as a premium tire brand, Mr. Colletti said.
We also had a presence with some other companies where we don't have ingrained partnershipsincluding Infiniti, Kia and Toyotawho still appreciate what Pirelli symbolizes as a brand in terms of a luxury, high quality positioning. By selecting Pirelli tires they want to communicate that premium image about the vehicles to customers.
Other car manufacturers that displayed Pirelli tires at the recent Detroit auto show included Volvo Cars North America and Jaguar Range Rover North America.
Pirelli recently announced that the Pirelli P Zero had new fitments on the Ford 2015 Mustang GT.
The latest fitments we produced for the Ford 2015 Mustang solidifies this partnership with Ford and showcases how closely we work with them to provide the best fitments, both now and into the future, as they continue to improve and release newer versions of the iconic Mustang model, Mr. Colletti said.
He added that all-season capability continues to be an important attribute in North America, so Pirelli has been strengthening its position in this product range by working with OEMs in this segment.
Pirelli said its all-season new OE homologationswhen a manufacturer has officially approved a Pirelli tire for one of their vehicleshas quadrupled in the North American market in the past three years.
This is being achieved primarily through our relationships with the car companies, where we're talking with their technical and purchasing teams to ensure we develop and offer the best tires to meet these needs, Mr. Colletti said.
He added that the company's in-house research and development facility out of Pirelli's headquarters in Milan, Italy, provides it with the best new product technology and insights relating to tire materials, compounds and performance attributes to achieve its goals for a specific car company.
Additionally, the Silao factory in Mexico has assisted in better customer service in North America, he said.
Our proximity to customers is a lot closer now through the Mexico plant location, so our reaction time is much quicker for any changes in product demand and our tires have to travel a much shorter distance, making deliveries more convenient and quicker to receive, Mr. Colletti said.
He said there is an additional cost benefit because of the reduced travel time and logistics.
The Silao plant has enabled us to have additional capacity for tire production so we have more product available for customers in North America.