More than five years after its birth, Prometeon Tyre Group, a multinational group with more than 8,000 employees and 4 production plants, is enjoying a significant commercial success given its good results in 2022, as well as a greatly improved brand recognition, particularly noteworthy for a company that was initially perceived as a mere industrial spin-off of the Pirelli group. A 'new course' that kicks off with the arrival of Roberto Righi as General Manager of the Group, in July 2021: in fact, the organisational changes that have affected the group in the last year, and the important investments in sponsorships, i.e., the World Superbike Championship and Parma Calcio, fall under his mandate. Just before the Parma-Como match at the Ennio Tardini Stadium, we spoke with Righi and Sabina Oriani, the company's Chief Marketing Officer, about these projects and market trends.
Righi: the launch of the 02 Series the turning point for a successful 2022
As Righi explains, '2021 brought positive results thanks to the positive trend in demand. On the other hand, 2022 started off with a number of issues related to the market and the general economic situation. However, we reacted quickly and effectively, and we will end this year with results exceeding our expectations. For the first time, the group turnover will exceed the 1.5-billion-euro mark, with margins in line with expectations and a solid financial position. Thanks to the decisions taken at the end of 2021, we have been able to ensure a consistent production, in fact all our factories have been operating at full capacity, managing the trade-off between the costs associated with a few extra days' stockpiling and the advantage of not stopping production even at a time when sourcing raw materials was rather difficult. From the market point of view, our market share grew in Europe, but also in Turkey, Egypt and Brazil, which are Prometeon’s traditional strongholds given our industrial presence in those countries. What are the prospects for 2023? According to the Group Director, 'the market growth recorded from the third quarter of 2020 ended in the middle of 2022; from June onwards, demand has been slowing down, and we expect the beginning of 2023 to be in line with the last six months. In the second half of next year, however, we could see a positive sign again."
But 2022 proved crucial also for the launch of the new 02 Series, the first designed entirely by Prometeon. In fact, for the first time our brand appears on the sidewall along Pirelli: "this family of products represents a generational step for us," says Righi, "and is the result of four and a half years' of work ranging from the design and developing phase to industrialisation; we are proud of this result because behind the product we find the commitment of the hundreds of people at Prometeon who created it. " During 2023 we will complete the 02 Series product range for Europe to be followed by the launch in Latin American markets.
In addition to the product, which represents a major breakthrough in the premium segment with Pirelli waiting for future developments in the tier 3 segment with the Anteo brand, Prometeon's strategy takes advantage of the partnership with the SuperTruck consortium, made up of 30 companies and a network of 127 workshops, whose expansion in Europe is being managed by Andrea Bottini. A further element on which the company is focusing to support the sell-out of dealers is technical training, which in the truck tire business is of vital importance: "We are strengthening our team of trainers," says Righi, "because I know from experience how important it is to have people technically trained to support the work carried out every day in the field by our sales teams. Prometeon is also focusing on original equipment, which is now seen as a strategic opportunity for our growth.
Oriani: sponsorship not only as brand promotion but to create value inside and outside the group
With so many changes undertaken and so many projects in the pipeline, the time had come for Prometeon to start communicating clearly and distinctly its values and identity as a global tire manufacturer, regardless of product brands. With this in mind came the decision to invest in the sponsorship of the World Superbike championship and Parma Calcio 1913, desired by the Group not only to increase the visibility of the Prometeon brand and thus consolidate relations with customers, suppliers and the Prometeon employees themselves, as Sabina Oriani recounts: "We wanted to create a spirit of awareness within the company to share the values we believe in with our employees and allow them to live through these experiences, and we believe that these choices are proving effective. This focus on people is an element that underpins the sustainability of everything we are doing. For example, today many colleagues are here in the Tardini stadium with their families, and their children take part in the 'kids on the field' initiative at the start of the game'. Hence, the Prometeon brand is clearly visible on the team's jersey, but also on the LED boards around the field, on the fixed billboards and on the team’s bench at the Stadio Tardini; but how did the choice of Parma as the team to support come about? 'This is a team that has a long and prestigious tradition, both in Italy and in Europe,' Oriani explains. 'Many of Parma’s famous past players or “legends”, as they are often called nowadays, are actively involved in the programme and this allows us to work on several foreign markets (moreover, the American ownership of Parma is another aspect, given our future development plans). Above all, however, there is a great willingness to collaborate on this sponsorship, in fact we are setting up several projects to make the most of these opportunities. The Superbike championship, on the other hand, may be perceived as a niche, but given its worldwide presence it allows us to work in many countries: 'During each race we host between 30 to 40 customers, creating an exciting customer experience for them, with positive results; there is great enthusiasm around these events, which goes a long way in consolidating partnerships with customers and suppliers all over the world,' concludes Sabina Oriani.