Information and training

In 2012 two new European regulations will enter into force. Their purpose is to improve road transport safety and its environmental and economic efficiency through the promotion of safe tyres that facilitate efficient consumption and low noise levels.

Regulation on General Safety of Motor Vehicles (EC 661/2009)

With this regulation, which will enter into force on November 1, 2012, the European Commission has set itself the goal of improving road safety, through an integrated policy approach benefiting users, the environment and industry.

It envisages that certain safety equipment be mandatory on all vehicles, such as the “electronic stability control system”. In regard to tyre safety measures, it envisages that “tyre pressure monitoring systems” be mandatory equipment on cars, while also imposing new limits on tyre rolling resistance on cars and all categories of heavy vehicles.

For these types of wheeled vehicles and in regard to the limits already in force since 2001, the regulation also sets new limit values on rolling noise for tyres and wet grip for car tyres.

Regulation on Labelling of Tyres (EC 1222/2009)

From November 1, 2012, all new tyres for cars, light and heavy commercial introduced in the European market must have a label on the tyre tread that informs consumers of the fuel efficiency, wet grip and external rolling of the tyres that they are about to purchase.

Fuel efficiency and wet grip are rated on a scale from class “A” (green class, the best) to “G” (red class, the worst). This classification system is similar to the one already used for electric appliances.

Instead, the United States mandates the Uniformity Tyre Quality Grading (UTQG) disclosure. These regulations are currently being revised and will include mention of rolling resistance class as well. All Pirelli products are sold with a safety warning affixed to the side of the tyres, although this is not required under the law.

Voluntary tyre labelling requirements exist in Japan and will come into force this year in South Korea.

During the chairmanship of Francesco Gori, the Chief Operating Officer of Pirelli who at the end of 2011 completed his second three-year term as Chairman of ETRMA (European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association), the association has worked intensively to perfect the rules being implemented in the aforementioned European regulations. Pirelli , as a Premium tyre company, has fully supported and supports the new regulations, especially for the transparency that it introduces in favour of consumers, who may make informed purchase decisions in reference to essential parameters.

Just as transparently, Pirelli reminds consumers that the three indicators covered by labelling requirements (rolling resistance, noise, and wet grip), while essential, do not exhaust the parameters that have to be assessed for full comprehension of the “value” of a tyre in terms of its performance and safety. A long list of parameters – including braking in dry conditions, aquaplaning, and road hold – are essential and typical elements of Pirelli tyres, which the company obviously tests with maximum care, while continually innovating.

Last but not least, it is important to transmit to consumers the concepts that fuel saving and highway safety highly depend also on the driving style of individuals, as well as proper tyre maintenance, control of wear and tear and tyre pressure.

In 2010 there were no cases of non-compliance with regulations or voluntary codes involving information and labelling of products or services.

Using numerous communication tools, Pirelli constantly provides information about its products and related initiatives to its distributor customers and end customers.

The new international website was completed in 2011. It was totally overhauled in 2010, in view of giving consumers greater support in choosing the product most suited to their own needs.

More specifically, the “Find your perfect tyre” configuration tool is a method for engaging the consumer by starting from his personal and driving characteristics, leading him step by step to determining the most suitable tyre for his needs, as described in detail by internationally recognised experts.

This ideal tyre can even be “tested” by using virtual and interactive tests. The local versions of the Pirelli site were completed and made operational during the year, in coordination with the Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Other tutorial and interactive configuration tools are offered in the sections dedicated to the car, motorcycle and truck businesses. Each one has its own characteristics aimed at the target segment.

First of all, there is the tutorial on introduction of the previously mentioned European labelling regulations (Regulation EC 1222/2009). In addition to a technical explanation for each of the three criteria used to classify tyres (rolling resistance, wet grip and noise emissions), the consumer is guided through an innovative simulator that allows him or her to compare the performance of the different grading classes and discover the benefits of choosing higher performance tyres.

Already active for trucks, the tutorial will be implemented in the car section of European websites by the end of the Q1 2012, with the aim of facilitating end user comprehension and reading of labels. Partly in consequence of these major initiatives, 2012 will mark another major step forward by Pirelli in the digital world and its commitment to consumers, be they car, motorcycle or truck customers.

GETTYRE is the Pirelli and Metzeler ecommerce site dedicated to motorcycle and scooter owners. In collaboration with the network of dealers located in every region of Italy, is the official online store that clearly features a range of tyres and special offers for consumers. The site is already active in Italy and Spain. By H1 2012, e-commerce should be integrated in the product catalogue of the new Metzeler site.

In 2012 Pirelli also introduced a new digital newsletter aimed at its customers, Paddock News.

Its principal aim is to provide a new tool for communication and contact with the trade, comprised by an international edition, managed from Milan, and a local language edition for each individual market where Pire - lli operates. In five issues a year, Paddock News presents a gallery of new products and innovations by the company and its business units: Car, Motorcycle, Motorsport and Truck.

Pirelli paper publications are dominated by the company magazines Pirelli World and, for Brazil, Giro, in addition to publications for the international market, including Truck, the magazine dedicated to the truck transport world, which is also available online and published in four languages in Europe (Italian, Spanish, German and English) and in two languages in South America (Spanish and Portuguese). This last publication represents a steady channel for communication between Pirelli and transport dealers and professionals. It offers a key tool for distributing information and updates on products and applications.

In 2011 the Tyre Campus project was reinforced at the local level, whereby Pirelli aims at achieving excellence in product training, both in terms of content and methods, from factory visits to simulations of tyre performance. Information and training are now truly comprehensive. The number of product training participants in 2011 increased by 80% from the previous year, with extremely positive feedback by all markets. In addition, the bases were laid for a 2012 project that envisages the creation of a Pirelli e-learning platform dedicated to dealers.

This platform will permit the exponential growth of customers who will have access to product training.