SILAO, Mexico — Pirelli & C. S.p.A. has commissioned a $15 million research and development center at its tire plant in Silao focused on the development and testing of tires designed for future mobility in North America.
Equipped with "advanced" technologies, the 6,000-sq.-ft. center is intended to strengthen "innovation, continuous learning and development" at the site in Mexico's Guanajuato state.
The R&D center also will serve as a training center for the local workforce, with focus on areas such as modeling using virtual mathematical models, according to a statement by the local government.
The testing capabilities will enhance the development of safer products as well of noise-reduction and EV tire technologies at the Mexican center.
"Mexico represents a strategic area for Pirelli for activities in North and Central America," Pirelli Tire North America CEO Claudio Zanardo said.
The Silao plant, he noted, has "contributed significantly" to Pirelli's strategy of focusing on high-value products for the premium and prestige segments.
With the inauguration of this new center, Pirelli aimed to increase "technological competitiveness throughout the North American area," Zanardo said.
The new center will help the company to develop "premium products" using increasingly sustainable technologies," Pirelli Mexico CEO Enrico Verdino said.
Opened 11 years ago, the Silao plant has been expanded from an initial capacity of 1.5 million units a year to 7.6 million units presently.
During 2023, Pirelli disclosed an investment of $113 million over two years to boost capacity at the plant for larger-rim diameter tires and tires for electric vehicles that will be sold in the U.S.
That project will increase production capacity by over 1 million tires a year, Pirelli said, to 8.5 million units and create 400 new jobs by the time it's completed.