The Truth About Pirelli Tires


– So people have been
telling me that I’m like the calmer version of
Donut Media which is like, just because I don’t have facial hair and I don’t have a Dodge tattoo. I mean, he has a nice
collection of hats, I suppose. And now I’m being called
like the Lioness Tech Tips of the automotive scene, that’s rude. I don’t even see the resemblance, because I am my own person dammit. And I’m Alex from Fitment Industries. Alex dot FI, and you are
watching Fitment Industries. That’s the worst intro I could
possibly ever make for this. But today we’re talking
about the tire company that everyone holds right
at the top of the hill for- Wait, I was going to say koala. That everybody holds
at the top of the hill, the echelon of quality: Pirelli Tire. Pirelli is a multinational
company, based in Milan, Italy, that was founded way back in 1872 by a man named Giovanni Battista Pirelli. Giovanni Battista Pirelli, I can’t even do an Italian accent if you paid me to so we’re just going to stick to English. More of an North, North-Western, Central-Western, Wisconsin accent. Anyway, this man had a history
of struggles and challenges because in 1860, he was only 12 years old when he fought with Giuseppe Garibaldi in the Battles of Brescia and Mentana. Once he was older, he
went through schooling and he eventually graduated in 1870. His teacher pushed him to
go into the rubber industry as Giovanni had a unique
interest in entrepreneurship, and he was still very young. When he was battling it
out he was 12 years old. As Pirelli launched, it was originally dubbed G.B. Pirelli & C. Giovanni was one of
the first major players to the rubberized game in Italy, and quickly grew with its competition being not too far away. The 19th Century was massive for the rubber and tire industry, and Pirelli was going into
it saying, I can do this. The tire champion began
its life not in tires but in rubber processing and scuba diving rebreather elastic goods. At the beginning of the company’s life, they were involved in
everything they could be. Including things like telegraph cables, not telephone cables, that’s later, that was before our time actually, bicycle tires, and then
finally automobile tires. Pirelli began to make headway
with receiving contracts from the Italian Royal Army, in 1875, to produce 16 rubber
widgets for telegraph poles. And that’s where it
really started to grow. The Pirelli name grew with it’s business, as factories began to pop up,
carrying the Pirelli name. The Pirelli name lost a couple letters during the liquidations and acquisitions in the early times of it’s life. Changing from the G.B. Pirelli
& C, to just Pirelli & C as a limited shares company. And there’s a lot of
history that goes into how the company essentially
formed on the back end for investments and stuff like that, but it’s actually quite quite boring. Pirelli would see a rubber
band production line for carriages, in 1885, and
the first tire for Velocipedes, which is really just a fancy
name for an early bicycle, but I didn’t look how to
pronounce it before the video. But you can fool your friends with that word if you’d like, in 1894. Pirelli was essentially the British when it came to expansion. But before they could spread, like a cold in a pre-school cafeteria, Pirelli had to handle workers
strikes and factory rights, just like everyone else. But once they got that handled… Golden. Right out of the gate, they were growing as fast as humanly possible. They found themselves in popular countries like Spain, England, Argentina. The tire market was already
competitive with other brands like Michelin, Firestone, and Goodyear, and it was really popular
especially in the United States. It wasn’t essentially like Pirelli was one of the first
or one of the biggest, but it definitely had something to prove when it came to the first couple decades of the business starting. But Pirelli did also have
something up their sleeve that made the company nearly blindside it’s international competition. Artists. Yeah I know, it’s a little bit weird because like that wasn’t
a thing back then, but Pirelli was like what
if we became that sexy, like brand, that people want to follow. Like they were like the hype
brand of the early 1900’s. The marketing material
for Pirelli exclusively was something that just floored people. They had ads that made the company look modern and futuristic,
but not too futuristic. And it made people wonder just who the (bleep) was Pirelli Tire. And it was at that point
that Pirelli started to really find comfort in
it’s own brand and marketing. It was the art and style
that Pirelli wanted. It was the beginning of
Pirelli dabbling in the thought that their company would be
more than just a tire producer, but rather, like a style and image that gleamed off that yellow and red logo. If you go back, you can
find all the memorabilia of Pirelli being involved
in everything trendy, in the early 1900’s, that
is insanely expensive. But that’s besides the point. 1922, they went public in
the Milan Stock Exchange and was initially invested
with control group polling’s and lots of very exciting things that we talked about before. And no offense to Pirelli,
but we really don’t- we really just don’t want to talk about share traded U.S. market shares
and acquisitions and stuff. Paired with Pirelli
Cord and Superflex tire, in 1924, began to give Pirelli an edge to the already tight competition. The Superflex success came across from it’s capabilities of handling high speed damage without breaking, which was still extremely common in the tire industry in the early 1900’s. You would see that tire help Gastone Peri win the International Grand Prix in 1925. And that’s when Pirelli
not only was involved in the marketing aspect of being the super cool, hip, trendy kid, aka Eric of Fitment Industries, in the international market,
but that’s when Pirelli truly began to shine in the Motorsport
market segment as well. Because they were just
coming out of nowhere, doing things nobody else has ever done. As years passed, individuals
like Giovanni passed away, and his sons Piero and Alberto began to take the mantle of responsibilities. Piero Pirelli greatly
assisted in the company’s telephone service and
telecommunications project, while Alberto traveled the world and handled international affairs. And that one sounds
like a way more fun job. Alberto was very interested in every big, long titled committee you could imagine that would look good on any resume, if resumes were a thing back then. Over time, Pirelli began to grow into making proper tires for
the right applications. We would see the Stella Bianca that made Pirelli stand out
and nearly helped them through the great pending international hardships that would be coming through in times. Even though the 20’s were banging, there were a couple things that happen in the next decade that kind of got them- everybody just in a wee bit of trouble. They adapted, they evolved,
and they stayed alive. Pirelli was getting
thicc, with like two c’s, and their international market had grown. They were hip, they were scandalize guys with the sexy models on the ads, and the cool marketing
with the dogs and the foxes and then this and then that. They had all the cool
things going for them. That paired with their new design, such as the Cinturato tire,
which was the first ever Pirelli-made radial tire, in 1953, and vwa-lah you had business. Bustling through the 60’s and 70’s, Pirelli continued to expand into Greece, Turkey, Brazil, and a whole
bunch of other places. They ended up acquiring
companies like Veith Gummiwerke, it’s a good thing we’ve got subtitles, a company based out of Germany. They were helping people
win Nobel Peace Prizes with the discovery of polypropylene, which was they founded the
use for rayon cords and tires to help with heat resistance, versus those nerds across
the water using cotton. Phew, nerds. With Pirelli being involved
from the racing side of things as well as the commercial market, they began to delve into low profile tires for high profile, high end, vehicles. Which car makers really,
really, really enjoy. Pirelli would become one
of the first companies to offer European and
American variance of tires, most notably for the last 60’s Camaro, which was a very
interesting marketing thing for a company in Italy to do
for the United States market. Not only that, but Pirelli
since snagged a deal with Lamborghini to put
their Cinturato tires on the one and only Lamborghini Miura. Before we get into this
next chapter of let’s go on adventure time with Alex
from Fitment Industries, I want you guys to know
that we’re going to be talking about a car
automobile manufacturer that goes by the name of Lancia. Now, however, there are
multiple ways to pronounce this and depending on which ad
or commercial you watched when you were ten years
old, or depending on what you’ve heard on the forums,
people pronounce it differently. So, just stop. Stop it. Okay? Back to the video. Pirelli was on the race. It was 1972 and Lancia was coming through like that one kid in
high school with his arms behind him like it was some sort of anime. And they had this crazy (bleep) car that we all remember from Top
Gear, in the old rally footage that everybody wanted to just
somehow drive and own one day. It completely outdid
every car in it’s class, and it was the Lancia Stratos. It was the car that was
insane, it was light, it was fast, it was nimble, there was nothing that could take it on, but there would be no tire
application that would be able to match it’s needs and to
get through the harshness of the races that Lancia
wanted it to go through. And Pirelli was like… I got this bud. And the P7 was born. The P7 helped the Lancia
team take the W’s, from 1974-1981, in the classes
that they would take part in. The company began diving more and more into motorcycle tires, as well. They added more factories,
they were leading more into the 1980’s, and they
were doing very well. They acquired an American tire company known as Armstrong Tire. It was one of the larger moves that got Pirelli’s Italian shoe wearing foot in the door to this lovely market. But not all was perfect, in the early 90’s Pirelli’s success had to
do with it’s acquisition, it’s marketing, and of
course, it’s product. Eat what you can and
grow where it’s possible, and it’s a hard mentality
and business model to keep up with for a century. They attempted to do
the same with companies like Dunlop and Firestone in the past, but Continental’s potential acquisition took a massive hit to
the company’s bottom line and it wasn’t fruitful. Aka, it didn’t work, zero
fruit came out of that. Very like airport fruit you buy for $7 with no water at the
bottom, nothing, nada, nip. While the acquisition
essentially cripples the company, the new CEO Marco Tronchetti
Provera, saying it slow, had other plans to keep Pirelli
moving that way: forward. He does look a little angry in his bio and it’s a bit little nerveracking
for me to talk about him because he just doesn’t seem- he just didn’t seem like he’d be happy. The eyebrows look like they’d cut me. We got the same hair though, so Marco, hope you’re doing well. Marco ended up taking the reigns
on an international level, and gets all of the Pirelli headquarters together to focus on one thing. One of the same things
that seem to have been kind of disconnecting the
Pirelli name: innovation. Their tire line sees the
development of the P Zero tire, a high performance tire that is still being produced to this day. And not just that, but Pirelli started to get involved in a lot
more than just tires. They got involved in everything. Between the introduction of the P Zero and the P 6000, which did
relatively well for the time, the company got into rally
sport, Formula 1, and much more. They got involved in any sort
of entrepreneurship ideas and lean things and
places to put them more on a telecommunications path again. Pirelli began moving towards the cable sector to get back in front. Then, Marco revitalized
the marketing strategy that made Pirelli so extraordinary in the beginning days of its foundation. Marco then pivoted the entire
Pirelli brand to be more than just a tire manufacturer, but
an innovator of all things. Information, transportation,
marketing, communications, the editor is going to hate
me, cable, infrastructure, an integrated/improved industry processes. So what does this mean? This adaptation in the 90’s
is what made Pirelli survive, because it opted to be more
than just a tire producer at the time where tires weren’t being as good as they could have been for them. Which is weird because
most people in the states don’t know anything about
Pirelli except the fact that they make really expensive
and pretty good tires. And that’s where it started
getting into the 21st Century. The early 2000’s saw Pirelli try to grow into telecommunications
without much success. So at this point, they
pretty much said maybe, maybe, maybe, we should just
focus on tires for a bit, huh? Pirelli advanced their Super
Motorbike tire capabilities in over 400 motor championships, and even their 19 year
absence from Formula 1 that they experienced,
they just jumped right in, as the cool kids do the thing, and they jump back in with
actually quite a bit of success. Becoming the exclusive tire
supplier for the event, and that’s a bit of a
doozy to watch, by the way, if you’re a Formula 1
fan, there’s quite a bit of hubbub about all of that. They locked into the Super Bike
World Championships in 2004. They hold the Ferrari
exclusive tire rights to the Ferrari Challenge and
the Lamborghini Super Trofeo. It’s looking good. Great. Huge. I don’t
even know how to do the- Huge. The company saw the upswing
they needed with their profitability doubling
down between 2008 and 2015. They immediately led to
Pirelli taking an offer between joint investment
dudes ChemChina, Camfin, and Russia’s long term
investments to get it de-listed from the Public Stock Exchange
and get them back into a private company, rather
than a publicly traded one. This ended up hyper
focusing the Pirelli name back into style, product,
and tires, and culture that made Pirelli what it was: a proper company of style
and (bleep), (bleep) tires. Although the company had
seen multiple pulls in style, changes in design, and
adjustments to it’s brand, the company really never wanted
to lose what made Pirelli… Pirelli. This led to the company
creating its own historical culture within the Pirelli
foundation and thing. It’s like a history book and
if you want to learn more, go check it out. The company since the mid-2000’s has seen focuses in and around tires, and there’s no mistake that
Pirelli has been at the top and later when it came
to quality and design. But it’s much more than that for Pirelli. It’s not the sake of a
dollar, for competition, it’s just imbued with how
Pirelli does business. It’s like what they do, they
just like being the best, and their an Italian
company that’s got the style and got the things, and got
some cool things going for them, and it’s always been there. From Giovanni to Marco Polo, I mean, Pirelli has been a company
with a proper personality and attention to style
that makes them always one of those brands that
you’re like you know, they’re a wee bit expensive,
but they’re pretty neat. So let us know if you guys are running Pirelli’s in the
comment section below. Don’t forget to subscribe
and hit the bell button so we can keep making videos like this. And let us also know what
you’d like us to cover next. I’m Alex from Fitment Industries. If you need wheels, tires, suspension, check out fitmentindustries.com Yeah, that’s it. Hope you guys enjoyed. We will see you later, peace.

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