Among the dignitaries attending the event were Diego Sinhue Rodríguez Vallejo, governor of the Mexican state of Guanajuato; Luigi De Chiara, ambassador of Italy to Mexico; Claudio Zanardo, president and CEO of Pirelli North America; and Paulo Benea, and CEO and general manager of Pirelli Neumaticos SA Mexico.
Marco Tronchetti Provera, executive vice chairman and CEO of Pirelli, said in a video message the plant has contributed to "the success of Pirelli's global strategy of becoming the leader in the high-value segment."
He said expections were high when Silao was chosen as the site of the plant. "Today I am happy to say that we have achieved our goals and that the factory and the people who work there have exceeded our expectations. In fact, the Silao plant is one of the most technologically advanced in the group and will soon host a new Pirelli R&D Centre.
"As we have for 10 years, we continue to strongly believe in Silao and its people."
In early May, Pirelli revealed plans to build a technology and digitalization hub for production at its factory in Silao in a bid to implement Industry 4.0 principles and strengthen the "innovation ecosystem" at the facility, budgeting $15 million for the project.
The hub will be housed in another 71,900-sq.-ft. expansion of the factory premises.
The investment affirms Pirelli's desire to grow its share of the North American market. Earlier this year, Zanardo told Tire Business that the company will continue to pursue "segments most important to us," including 18- and 19-inch rim diameter tires that are "growing in the market" as well as the burgeoning EV tire market.
"It's the place where we want to compete," he said.
Zanardo reiterated that during the Silao expansion announcement.
"North America is becoming more and more important for Pirelli," he said. "We are investing a lot in the region. We are developing products that answer to the specific needs of this market. We are opening local R&D centers, to further increase the level of technology and innovations of local products," he said.
Once the capacity increase is complete, he said those products will be available in the entire North American market.