One fact that isn't much of a secret is Pirelli's desire to grow its share of the North American market.
In its most recent financial report, the tire maker reported double-digit growth in sales and earnings for the quarter ended March 3, boosted by 33 percent growth in North America. The Americas region represents 35 percent of Pirelli's global sales.
"We are pretty happy about the first six months of the year," Zanardo said, while noting industry difficulties surrounding the supply chain and increasing costs of raw materials.
Demand, he said, remains strong, especially for large-diameter tires.
"We going after segments most important to us, the 18-, 19-inch tires that are growing in the market," he said. "It's the place where we want to compete."
And the tire maker certainly is plugged in to another growing market segment: electric vehicles.
Over the last few years, Pirelli has focused on developing a range of products for the EV market, along with its OEM partners including traditional partners as well as EV-specific companies, such as Rivian and Tesla.
Every week, it seems, the tire maker announces the release of a new product to one of its lines, particularly for its Pirelli Elec, a package of tire technologies developed for electric cars and plug-in hybrids for the aftermarket.
Although EV sales jumped more than 70 percent in the last quarter of 2021, EVs still account for less than 3 percent of cars on U.S. roads today, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation
"I know there's a lot of media coverage about the EV," Coke said, "but if you look at the percentage of the real market, it's still (very small). But it's still growing. It's going to come like a tsunami. This thing is going to roll out. The big players are coming in now."
Coke expects demand for EV trucks and SUVs to explode, and he said the tire maker is developing premium products for these segments that address the differences in torque, load and noise/comfort level that set these products apart from standard tires.
"Designing products to cater for those range-conscious, or battery life-conscious consumers who look at the actual wear rate, mileage ... that's our job. We have that technological advantage, and our strategy is to lead the way on this one."
It's just as vital, Coke said, that Pirelli develops EV tires specific to the U.S. market, as opposed to products designed for the European market.
"The technology, we can use the same, but the balance and attributes for the end-consumer have got to be for this market," Coke said. "This is an all-season market. It's a different all-season from a European all-season. We have to be very conscious about that."