Pirelli provides information to customer-distributors and end customers on a continual basis. This information concerns both the product and related initiatives, and is disseminated in a variety of ways.
Online communication plays a strategic role in distributing information, and this is complemented by information distributed in hard copy format, as well as the range of off-line and online training activities that have contributed to the success of Pirelli over the years.
Pirelli continued to invest in online communication in 2013, especially on its own websites as constant points of reference for its own clients and end customers. The development of new sites has improved mobile use of information, which provides immediate access to useful information for customers/consumers through the ever-increasing use of smartphones and mobile devices. All 37 of Pirelli online sites were accessed more than 8 million times in 2013. The most visited sites were its Dealer locator and products catalogue.
The iPhone #OnTheRoad application was launced in the second half of the year, and has a community of over 60,000 users. This application allows consumers to obtain information about their own vehicle simply by entering their license plate number. The #OnTheRoad application also offers numbers services and information, beginning with finding points of interest like parking lots, auto repair shops and Pirelli dealers. Furthermore, it offers simple functions on the iPhone that give notices and deadlines related to the operation of one’s own car.
In 2013 Pirelli also continued informing customers with a digital newsletter, Paddock News. The main aim is to provide an additional tool of communication and contact with the trade, composed of an international edition, coordinated from Company headquarters, and is published in a local language edition for each market in which Pirelli is present. Paddock News features a gallery of new products and news from the Company and its Business Units: Car, Motorcycle, Motorsport and Truck.
In the realm of traditional hard copy communication on the other hand, a key role is played by the corporate magazines Pirelli World and, for Brazil, Giro, in addition to publications for the international market including Truck, a magazine dedicated to the world of road transport available online and published in Europe in four languages (Italian, Spanish, German and English) and in two languages in South America (Spanish and Portuguese). The magazines help to maintain a constant link between Pirelli and dealers and professionals in the world of road transport and represent an important tool for the dissemination of information and updates concerning products and applications.
A series of supports have been developed for training dealers about products, in order to explain the peculiar details of the Pirelli line and assist the trade in making sales pitches to end customers. Hard copy materials were complemented by the development of videos for dealer waiting rooms to explain the concept of the most appropriate tyre for each season, the principal recommendations of Pirelli experts and the tyres that are most suitable for each need.
In 2013 the Group strengthened the Tyre Campus project at the local level. With this project, Pirelli aims to achieve excellence in terms of product training both in terms of contents and methods: from factory visits – about 600 dealers (+40% from the previous year) from 15 countries visited the two plants in Settimo Torinese (Italy) and Izmit (Turkey) and also the Vizzola (Italy) test circuit – to tyre performance simulations.
Information and training are therefore conducted with a global approach. Product training was a very big activity on all markets, to illustrate the new products of the Company and the peculiar details of Pirelli branded tyres. In addition, deployment of the online Tyre Campus “The Road to Success” training platform continued, covering a total of 15 markets. This platform aims to grow the international coverage of training activities exponentially, by means of a homogeneous approach. Product training is delivered in a captivating style and with the metaphor of a path towards the final goal of certification. Pirelli therefore certifies all its dealers who complete the proposed product training successfully. The status of certified dealer is shown in the dealer locator and by means of a plaque displayed in the point of sale so that the consumer has all the necessary elements to identify dealers who are the most informed with regard to the technical characteristics and benefits of all products in the Pirelli range. The project to expand the geographical reach of the platform is extremely challenging. During the year, it was launched in fivew new countries – the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada and Austria It is expected that the roll-out will be concluded on all markets by the end of 2014.
The Tyre Campus Case tool was developed to support employees involved in providing training to the trade. It is aimed at concretely illustrating the characteristics of our tyres, the differences between different tyre treads and the raw materials used to make our products.
With this tool, Pirelli trainers around the world have a concrete and innovative support so that customers can personally verify the key characteristics of our products.
REGULATION ON GENERAL SAFETY OF MOTOR VEHICLES (661/2009)
With this regulation, which came into effect on November 1, 2012, the European Commission aims to improve road safety through the adoption of an integrated approach benefiting users, the environment and industry. The regulation makes it obligatory to equip vehicles with several safety devices, such as the “electronic stability control system”. With regard to tyre safety measures, it requires the obligatory adoption of the “inflation pressure monitoring system” on cars and also imposes new limits in terms of rolling resistance of tyres for cars and light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles. Also for vehicles of these types and with respect to the limits already in force since 2001 the regulation establishes new limits concerning exterior rolling noise and the wet grip performance of car tyres.
TYRE LABELLING REGULATION (EC 1222/2009)
From November 1st, 2012 all new tyres for cars, light vehicles and heavy vehicles released on the European market must have a label on the tread that informs consumers of the fuel efficiency, wet grip and exterior rolling noise of the tyres they are about to purchase.
Fuel efficiency and wet grip are rated on the basis of a scale from class “A” (green class, the best) to “G” (red class, the worst).This classification system resembles the one already in use for domestic appliances.
The US on the other hand requires the Uniform Tyre Quality Grading (UTQG) disclosure: these prescriptions are currently being revised and integrated with the rolling resistance class. Regardless, all sold Pirelli products have a safety warning on the tyre wall, even though this is not required by law.
Voluntary prescriptions for tyre labelling also exist (on a voluntary basis) in Japan and came into effect at the end of 2012 also in Korea.
ETRMA (European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers Association) is the main partner of EU institutions for the development of new regulations for the sector and the rules for their implementation. With the institutional support of the Pirelli Group, the association worked ceaselessly throughout 2013 on the development of rules for implementation of the European Commission regulations on general safety of vehicles and tyres and energy efficiency.
In the role of Premium Tyre Company, Pirelli fully supported and continues to support the EU labelling regulation, especially because of the transparency it introduces to the benefit of the consumer, who can thus make an informed purchase in consideration of essential parameters. It is no accident that Pirelli was the world’s first manufacturer on the European market with a tyre, the P7 Blue, which in certain sizes carries the prestigious double “A” rating. The three indicators covered by labelling (rolling resistance, noise levels and wet surface braking), although essential, however, do not complete all the parameters that must be assessed by consumers when assessing a tyre to gain an understanding of its effective “value” in terms of performance and safety. A long list of parameters – including dry braking, aquaplaning and road holding – are essential and distinctive features of Pirelli tyres that the Company obviously tests with the utmost attention, without detracting from its continual drive towards innovation. Not least is the importance of informing consumers about concepts whereby fuel efficiency and road safety also depend greatly on the driving style of each driver, and proper tyre maintenance, from checking of the level of wear and tear to correct inflation pressure.