MILAN, Italy (May 11, 2010)—Pirelli & C. S.p.A. is accelerating the pace of its global capacity expansion plan, pledging to invest more than $400 million this year in a half-dozen projects, including new plants in Italy and Russia.
The investments will increase the firm's capacity in low-cost countries for consumer tires by year-end to about 70 percent, up from 61 percent in 2008. The equivalent figures in the commercial sector are 90 percent, up from 87 percent, Pirelli said.
The investments also include a greenfield truck tire plant in Russia and a fully automated car tire plant in Turin, Italy, according to Francesco Gori, head of Pirelli Tyre S.p.A., speaking at the release of the firm's first quarter financial results.
The plant in Turin will be a showcase for Pirelli's green technologies, Gori said, while the factory in Russia will start with truck tires and add car tire capacity later.
Other projects include:
—expanding car tire capacity in Romania by 60 percent;
—boosting truck tire capacity in Egypt by 20 percent;
—doubling car tire capacity in China and increasing truck tire capacity there by 20 percent; and
—expanding truck tire capacity 20 percent and car tire capacity 25 percent at plants in South America.