ISTANBUL—Prometeon Tyre Group S.r.l., the global business comprising the former Pirelli & C. S.p.A. commercial tire business assets, will invest $115 million over the next two-plus years to upgrade capacity at its truck, bus, agriculture and OTR tire plant in Izmit, Turkey.
Prometeon, the manufacturer and distributor of Pirelli-branded truck, bus, agricultural and OTR tires, said the investment will increase annual capacity at the 58-year-old plant by as much as 75 percent by 2020, and exports from Turkey are expected to double once the capacity increases. Capacity at the plant currently is just under 1 million units per year.
The upgrade will create as many as 150 new jobs at the plant where employment stands at 2,000.
Gregorio Borgo, chief operating officer of Prometeon, called the facility the "premium factory for Europe" for both original equipment and replacement products. He said the new investment "will increase the production capacity to follow the future growth trend of the Regions Europe and MEA (Middle East/Asia).
Borgo said almost one-third of Prometeon's sales come from tires manufactured at the Turkey plant and more than half of the existing capacity is exported.
Alp Guenvaran, CEO of Prometeon Turkey, MEA, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, said the investment strengthens Turkey's position as on the largest suppliers of industrial tires to the European market.
"The factory is one of our four production facilities in the world and continues to add value to the tire industry on a global scale, as it is the first plant in Turkey to have received an R&D certificate issued by the Turkish government," Guenvaran said.
Prometeon said that while nearly 70 percent of freight transport is done by road in Europe, the rate approaches 85 percent in Turkey. The company claims that one out of every five heavy commercial vehicles in Turkey runs on Pirelli-branded commercial tires produced at the Izmit plant.
Prometeon operates four factories (two in Brazil and one each in Egypt and Turkey) employing 7,000.
It is 52 percent owned by TP Industrial Holding (which in turn is owned by Marco Polo International Italy), 38 percent by CINDA (a Chinese International Investment company) and 10 percent by Aeolus.