The addition of a fifth Modular Integrated Robotized System line also will boost manufacturing capacity by 20 percent.
The expansion was announced jointly by Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue and Pirelli Tire Deputy Chairman Alberto Pirelli at Pirellis world headquarters in Milan on Thursday during Perdues economic development trip to Europe.
The expansion is scheduled to become operational during the first quarter of 2009, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
The news comes about a month and a half after Perdue announced Toyo Tire North America Manufacturing Inc. would create an estimated 400 new jobs and invest $270 million as part of its third expansion since 2004 at its Bartow County plant.
Pirellis announcement is just the latest expansion of international companies here in Georgia, Perdue said Thursday. Georgia has all the advantages that companies are looking for when considering investment in the American market, and our expectation is that we will continue to see new jobs and investment stream to our state.
Our expansion of the Georgia-based Modular Integrated Robotized System facility supports Pirellis strategic growth plan for the North American market and demonstrates our strategy of investing in its ongoing partnership with the state of Georgia and its office of economic development, said Hugh Pace, chief executive officer and chairman of Pirelli Tire of North America.
Pirelli said its North American growth strategy began at the start of the decade. During the past three years, Pirelli has seen large gains in its North American market share with a 30-percent sales increase. It now supplies its ultra-high performance tires to some of General Motors and Fords highest performing car models, the new Camaro and Mustang respectively, as well as Mercedes and BMW transplant models.
I am very proud of Pirellis commitment to growing its Rome-based MIRS manufacturing facility, said Andrew Kearton, Pirellis vice president of manufacturing and original equipment sales. This expansion demonstrates dedication to strategic growth for Pirelli in the North American market. The additional workforce positions we are adding to support the expansion are high-skill jobs that will operate a state-of-the-art automation process that is recognized as the most advanced in the tire industry. We also look forward to continuing our relationships with local colleges and the Georgia QuickStart program that will help us realize this growth.
Pirelli Tire North America designs, develops, manufactures and markets tires for passenger vehicles, motorcycles and racecars for original equipment and replacement markets. The company has about 250 employees in Rome.
Pirelli announced its plans to open the Rome plant in April 2001 and at the same time announced it would move its North American headquarters from New Haven, Conn., to Rome.
Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Al Hodge attended Thursdays announcement in Milan to express appreciation for the important role that Pirelli plays in the local community.
Brooks Mathis of Rome, project manager with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, assisted the company in its expansion.
What theyre saying
Local officials say the expansion is great news for Rome and Floyd County.
Pirellis expansion is welcomed news for us, said Randy Quick, chairman of the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerces board of directors and chairman of the board of the Rome-Floyd County Development Authority. Existing industry is a high priority, and we are pleased with the additional investment Pirelli will bring to our community. Pirellis corporate citizenship is truly significant as well.
Were delighted that Pirelli has continued to invest in Rome and Floyd County, said Jerry Jennings, Floyd County Commission chairman. We appreciate Pirellis confidence in our workforce, business climate and quality of life, and welcome further expansion from this fine corporate citizen.
Another international business expansion means good news for us, and we appreciate what Pirelli does with and for our community, said Mayor Wright Bagby.
Pirelli says MIRS is the worlds most advanced robotized system for manufacturing high-performance tires.
MIRS is a highly automated system that allows for flexible and rapid response to market demand, making it possible to operate efficiently even in markets where the cost of labor is high, according to Pirelli. Robots manage the entire production cycle without interruption and without having to move semi-finished products. That means there is no need for intermediate warehousing phases, thereby maximizing energy efficiency during the manufacturing process.
Integrated software coordinates all steps of production starting with design, cutting costs and production time.
Pirelli broke ground on its Rome plant on Sept. 10, 2001.
The campus sits on 120 acres and the physical plant and offices occupy 430,000 square feet.
The inauguration of PTNA was Aug. 17, 2002. The first tire was presented to then-Gov. Roy Barnes.
MIRS Lines 1 and 2 came online in the third quarter of 2003.
MIRS Line 3 was online during the first quarter of 2003.
MIRS Line 4 was operational in May 2005.
It takes 72 minutes to make a tire from raw materials to a finished tire, compared to a traditional tire factory which can take as many as 6 days to create one tire.
Click here to see a press release from the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce.