TIVOLI, Italy (Sept. 27) — Trelleborg Wheel Systems S.p.A. is phasing out its use of the Pirelli brand for farm tires and instead will place greater emphasis on its Trelleborg brand for the farm and forestry markets.
Trelleborg Wheel, a business unit of Sweden´s rubber products maker Trelleborg A.B., said the move is necessary because its license to use the Pirelli name expires in 2010. Trelleborg already has phased out the Pirelli brand in North America.
In 1998 Trelleborg Wheel bought a share of Pirelli S.p.A.´s agricultural tire business, including the factory in Tivoli, Italy, and completed the takeover in 2001. Above all else, that purchase gave Trelleborg radial technology for tractor drive tires.
Trelleborg will begin switching its Pirelli-branded radial farm tire line to the Trelleborg brand next year, the firm said, starting with TM900 High Power and followed by the TM800, TM700 and TM600.
In announcing the change, Trelleborg emphasized that the quality of its farm tires will not change, and its goal going forward is to "transmit the values and technological heritage of Pirelli agricultural tires to its new brand."
Trelleborg did not say what it expects the transition to cost in terms of new molds, etc., but did say it would double its advertising and marketing budget during the transition to make sure the message is clear.
Trelleborg Wheel generated $403.7 million in sales last year, or about 13 percent of Trelleborg´s corporate revenue. Besides farm tires, the company makes solid and pneumatic industrial tires and wheels for both farm and industrial uses.
Trelleborg Wheel is represented in North America by Trelleborg Wheel Systems Americas Inc., based in Hartville, Ohio.