SAO PAULO, Brazil (Nov. 12, 2009)—Pirelli & C. S.p.A. will invest $100 million in Brazil through 2012 to expand production capacity for agricultural and OTR tires to meet growing demand throughout Latin America.
The investment is in addition to $200 million the company committed to Brazil earlier this year to expand passenger and light truck tire capacity there.
The new project will go toward making the firm's Santo Andre, Brazil, plant a manufacturing and technology hub for farm and OTR tires, Pirelli said. Capacity for these tires should grow 40 percent, the company said.
Pirelli said there should be 25-percent growth in Latin America through 2013 for these specialized type tires, including a 37-percent increase in Brazil alone. Globally, Pirelli sees demand for these OTR tires rising 7.5 percent annually for the next several years.
Pirelli cited several large infrastructure projects on the continent—such as the new Panama Canal, works related to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the World Cup Soccer games in Brazil in 2014—for its optimistic outlook.
In 2008 South America represented one-third of Pirelli Tyre's global sales. Pirelli operates seven factories in South America, including five in Brazil, and employs about 11,400.