Tire Tech Awards – Pirelli named ‘Tire Manufacturer of the Year’

Accepting the award on behalf of the tyre maker, Macro Spinetto commented that technology is Pirelli’s “key driver”

Pirelli has been selected from a shortlist that also included Apollo Tyres, Goodyear and Hankook to be named Tire Manufacturer of the Year at this year’s Tire Technology International Awards for Innovation and Excellence. This is the first win for Pirelli in this category since 2009, and the awards judging panel comments that a strategic focus on high-value premium products, a reorganisation that led to the creation of Prometeon and a stock market flotation, a renewed commitment to R&D with the University of Milan and the launch of the Connesso connected tyre were all factors that led to the tyre maker’s selection.

“It is a great honour for Pirelli to receive this award, which I believe is a sign of appreciation for the transformation that the company has made,” comments Marco Spinetto, head of strategic innovation and knowledge management, government regulations and industry standards at Pirelli Tyre SpA. “Technology is our main driver, which is reflected in our great commitment to R&D and our open and collaborative approach to innovation. Last year Pirelli launched Connesso, the first sensor able to connect the tyre to the driver via an app; this year we are presenting an evolution of this system in line with our strategic path of digitisation.

“Over the last three years Pirelli has invested more than seven per cent of its revenues from high-value products in R&D, one of the highest levels of the sector,” he continues. “That our main technological partners – the car manufacturers – appreciate this approach can be seen in the increasing number of homologations in the premium and prestige-car segment.”

Pirelli’s performance in 2017 is noted by jury member David Shaw, chief executive of Tire Industry Research: “Pirelli has gone through a huge transformation over the last year. It split off the truck tyre division to focus exclusively on high-added-value tyres for performance vehicles including cars, bikes and bicycles. At a corporate level, Pirelli supported management transformation at ChemChina. Simultaneously, the company re-floated on the Milan stock exchange and won lucrative OE tyre contracts with many of the world’s most prestigious vehicle makers.”

The award was accepted by Marco Spinetto, Pirelli’s head of strategic innovation and knowledge management, government regulations and industry standards.

“It’s a great honour for Pirelli to receive this prize. The tyre industry has recognised the transformation undertaken by our company – a 145-year-old ‘start-up’ that today is a pure consumer tyre firm focussed on high value products: in other words, one that is strategically positioned in the most advanced technical areas. And technology is of course our key driver,” said Spinetto. “Underlining this is our commitment to research and development, to which Pirelli has dedicated more than seven per cent of its turnover over the last three years – one of the highest proportions of any tyre manufacturer. A product of this research is the Connesso system, launched by Pirelli last year. It’s the first sensor that is able to connect driver and tyre via an app. This year we’re going to be presenting an evolution of this system, in line with our digital focus. Our main partners, the world’s most important car manufacturers, have shown that they really appreciate our approach, and the growing number of premium and prestige homologations proves that.”

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