NEW HAVEN, Conn. (June 28)—Pirelli S.p.A. will begin tire production July 1 at its Modular Integrated Roboticized System prototype plant in Milan, Italy. By mid-2002, the tire maker plans to construct another fully automated, modular plant in the U.S. to handle anticipated new, original equipment business for its high-performance tires. During the next two years it also plans four more MIRS sites around the globe. The new factories are intended to house incremental business, a Pirelli spokesman said, not to displace traditional high-performance tire production at sites in South America, Europe and Hanford, Calif. Although Pirelli didn´t reveal its investment in the 2-year-old project, it said MIRS lowers total product costs by 25 percent, improves quality by 100 percent and increases labor productivity 80 percent.