ROME, Ga. — The Italian tire maker’s highly automated 400,000-square-foot facility, which began operations in 2002, serves as Pirelli’s North American headquarters and can produce 1,800 tires a day.
Published Oct. 31, 2012
ROME, Ga. — It’s only fitting that Italian tire maker Pirelli would have a plant in Rome. Except this “Rome” is in northwest Georgia, about 70 miles from Atlanta.
Pirelli, the fifth largest tire manufacturer in the world in sales, recently marked the 10th anniversary of the Rome plant.
The 400,000-square-foot facility, which also serves as Pirelli’s North American headquarters, employs 250 workers.
The tire plant, fitted with a proprietary robot system designed to cut production time, is officially referred to as the Modular Integrated Robotized System facility. It’s rated to produce 1,800 units a day, and since it first went into operation in 2002, the plant has produced 3 million tires.
|Rafael Navarro, left, Pirelli Tire North American vice president of communications, and Paolo Ferrari, chairman and CEO, unveil the first tire produced at the Italian tire maker’s facility in Rome, Ga. The tire is on display at the Rome Area History Museum. (Photo/Provided)|
“The operation we have here in Rome is a key part of our premium and original equipment strategy,” said Paolo Ferrari, region chairman and CEO. “Looking forward, it provides us the flexibility to be responsive to customer needs and produce short runs with high-quality and uniformity.
“This capability is key to being able to secure prestige fitments with top-level car manufacturers … all served from Rome.”
For example, BMW A.G. announced earlier this month plans to use 21-inch run-flat versions of Pirelli’s P Zero tire as the original equipment fitment on the 2013 model-year M performance versions of its all-wheel-drive X5 and X6 sports activity vehicles, which are both manufactured in Spartanburg County, S.C.
Since its opening, Rome’s role has expanded to serve as headquarters of Pirelli’s NAFTA region that now includes Mexican operations. Pirelli operates 22 factories on four continents with more than 36,000 employees.
Pirelli Tire North America designs, develops, manufactures and markets tires for passenger vehicles, motorcycles and race cars for original equipment and after markets.
Pirelli marked its anniversary at its Georgia facility by inaugurating an exhibit at the Rome Area History Museum that includes a permanent installation showcasing the first tire produced at the facility.
The celebration was capped by a tour of Pirelli’s Rome campus for Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and local business leaders and government officials.
“Since Pirelli first announced its decision to locate its North American headquarters in Rome, Ga., it has invested continuously in the Rome plant,” Isakson said.
During the first quarter of 2009, for example, Pirelli opened a new production line to its Rome facility. The $15 million investment boosted output by approximately 25%.
“They continue to be a great asset to this community and a great partner,” said Angie Lewis, chairwoman of the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce and president and CEO of Citizens First Bank. “I look forward to their continued growth and prosperity in Rome and Floyd County.”
Pirelli is committed to a long future in Rome, Ferrari said.
“We’ve done great things here in Rome and I look forward to continuing that tradition.”