The fifth largest global tire maker by sales, Pirelli is leader in the premium segments with high technological content. The Company has 19 factories throughout the world, on four continents, and operates in more than 160 countries.
Founded in 1872 and listed on Milan Stock Exchange sin 1922, Pirelli is distinguished by its long industrial tradition, which has always combined a capacity for innovation with product quality and brand strength.
A strength supported since 2002 by PZero fashion and high-tech project and further enhanced by Formula 1, for which Pirelli is the exclusive tire supplier for the three-year terms 2011-2013.
In line with its 'green performance' strategy, Pirelli - always focused on research and development - operates with ever increasing attention to products and services of high quality and technology and low environmental impact.
The history of innovation behind Pirelli gives its Brand legitimacy, recognition and relevance beyond the Tire industry, providing a clear and inspired overarching vision.
The "P Lunga" is the distinctive mark of Pirelli, the element which in the collective imagination evokes above all the product that symbolizes its core business: the tire. The logo created almost by chance in 1908 has since stood for a solid tradition of manufacturing, quality products and service, as well as the vital requisites of reliability, strength, innovation and concern for the environment.
The Pirelli brand thus stands for 140 years of hard work, success and leadership that has endured throughout the many cultural and social changes of our age. With a brand value estimated by Interbrand in 2011 of 2.2 € Billion, the Pirelli brand represents a potential to be leveraged and will become even stronger through the involvement with Formula One™.
The Pirelli calendar, above all else, bears witness to the Group's strength in communication. It started in 1964, when the marketing team at Pirelli UK decided to offer their best customers a calendar. It was the start of the Pirelli legend. In fact – and to be precise – the idea for the calendar wasn’t new: the year before, Terence Donovan, the famous photographer, had helped create a Pirelli calendar but it was never published.
Over the years, the calendar has become the inimitable Pirelli business card. A success that is summarised by chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera: “The Pirelli calendar is in keeping with the industrial tradition of our group: staying ahead through innovation. That is why, for some time now, Pirelli has earned itself an important position amongst the other companies worldwide”.
For more than a hundred years, the history of Pirelli tires has been the history of the car itself; the core business of a brand created in 1872 which turned to tire manufacture towards the late nineteenth century. The “Ercole”, which was fitted to the first vehicles dates back to 1901, whilst “Milano” tires for velocipedes were already around in 1890.
Victory in the first automobile race, the Beijing-Paris, came in 1907: the start of a series of sporting successes – on two and four wheels – which was to be consolidated over the years by champions such as Nuvolari, Ascari and Fangio. More than a century of technological excellence and process innovation, from the Stella Bianca of the pre-war period – the first to feature a proper tread design, created for modern, powerful automobiles – to the Stelvio, which, in the aftermath of the war, became “the tire of victory”.
In the 1950s, came the turn of the Cinturato, which, with the introduction of radial technology revolutionised the world of tyres, opening up the way – a few years later – to the Larga series: Pirelli P7 was designed in 1972 for rally use on Lancia Stratos and was destined to make automobile history. And it was from the original Pirelli P7 that the modern super-low profile tires are derived, which, with P Zero and then the New Cinturato family, have allowed the automobile world to achieve performance levels that had previously been unthinkable.
More than a century of technology – including process technology, if we consider the introduction of the robotised MIRS system – but more than a century of internationalisation too: from “old” Europe, where everything was created, to South America, and then the United States of America, and now China and the “new" eastern Europe.
Today, Pirelli Tire is the fifth largest world tire manufacture in terms of turnover, with one of the highest profitability levels in the sector.