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Pirelli information

Founded in 1872 by Giovanni Battista Pirelli in Milan, the Italian firm is the world’s fifth largest tyre manufacturer, with a market share of nearly 5%.

Operating in more than 160 countries, the group’s tyre sector generated a turnover of 3,992.9 million Euros in 2009.

The group operates 24 factories in 12 countries and an R&D centre in Italy. It employed more than 30 000 people worldwide at the end of 2008.

As with all major brands, Pirelli’s strategy has been to ensure that it’s competitive strength lies in innovation.  Investment in R&D represents between 3 and 4% of the company’s turnover. During the 1950’s, the Italian group developed the Cinturato Radial, a textile cord braced radial tyre. During the 1970’s the Italian group developed the low profile tyre, the P7, that was to become the brand’s flagship tyre.

The Pirelli group diversified very early on: in addition to tyre manufacturing, Pirelli is present in such sectors as new technology, property development and energy.

Pirelli, key dates:

1872: Giovanni Battista Pirelli, the 24-year-old engineer from Milan, creates his company.

1873:  Opening of the first rubber factory.

1879: Diversification of the company’s business into producing telephone cables and bicycle tyres.

1901: Manufacture of the first car tyres.

1907: Pirelli achieves competition fame winning the Peking-Paris motor race.

1914: Sets up in Great Britain, then in Argentina (1917).

1920: Sporting success continues with drivers such as Nuvolari and Fangio.

1950: Official launch of the highly successful Cinturato radial.

1960: Purchase of German tyre company Veith.

1964: First publication of the Pirelli calendar.

1975: Invention of the low profile tyre, the P7.

1992: Group restructuring.

1993: Launch of the ultra-low profile tyre, the P Zero, that breathes new life into the brand.

2000: Inauguration of the MIRS system (automated production)

2007: Factories built in China and Romania.

Competition / sports sponsorship

Motor racing:

  • Formula 1 in 2011, 2012 and 2013
  • GP2, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
  • GP3, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
  • FIAWRC 2008-2010
  • Ferrari Challenge (European and North American series)
  • Grand Am (United States)
  • Trofeo Maserati
  • Trofeo Lamborghini

Motorcycle racing:

  • World SBK (Superbike, Supersport, Superstock 1000, - Superstock 600 - Pirelli monobrand)
  •  Pirelli 600 Trophy (Pirelli monobrand France)
  • Top Twin (Pirelli monobrand France)
  • Dark Dog Moto Tour (Metzeler France)
  •  Kawasaki Cup (Pirelli monobrand France)
  • French Championship Rockstar Energy Drink Elite motocross 2010 (Pirelli – France)
  • Junior Pirelli Scorpion MX Trophy (Pirelli monobrand France)
  • Track Open Day (Metzeler – France – organised by the FFM)