In addition to kicking off the week-long Quality Initiative, Pirelli also announced Monday it would build a $210 million tire manufacturing plant in Silao, Mexico, northwest of Mexico City.
The plant in Mexico will make high performance and ultra high performance tires for cars and light trucks. It will provide direct jobs for 700 workers along with 300 indirect jobs, according to Joe Severns, a public relations spokesman for Pirelli.
The Pirelli Quality Initiative will focus on issues related to customer satisfaction; continuous quality improvements in manufacturing products and processes; strengthening of partnerships with both customers and suppliers; and developing a work environment where employees can maximize their individual potential.
Director of Quality Marco Verzino said the emphasis on quality is important because it shows the company is receptive and close to the needs of its customers.
“Quality does not happen if everyone is not committed,” said Verzino. “We plan to repeat this at least once a year.”
The MIRS (Modular Integrated Robotized System) plant at the company’s U.S. headquarters in Rome produces ultra high performance and sport utility vehicle tires for American performance vehicles, and is original equipment for many Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro models along with the BMX X3. The Pirelli tire is also used on some Mercedes models.
Steve Carpino, vice president of research and development for Pirelli, said the company is working several years out with automakers.
“We’ve got some interesting new projects,” said Carpino, not elaborating on any of them for competitive reasons.
Vice President for Manufacturing Luca Frisiani said the Rome plant is in the process of adding some 20 jobs in a new mixing area where rubber compounds are actually being mixed on-site instead of being outsourced, as has previously been the case.
“The mixing room is still being commissioned,” Frisiani said. “We are making the first prototype compounds now.”
Pirelli also introduced its industrial plan and vision through 2015 to its employees. The plan deals with finance, profitability, investment and related strategies.