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Pirelli tyres are one of the largest tyre manufacturers in the world and their company turnover is around 4billion every year. As one of the most successful companies ever to come out of Italy, Pirelli tyres trail just Bridgestone, Michelin, Continental and Bridgestone in the tyre making stakes and have cemented their place as the 5th largest tyre manufacturer in the world in recent years.

Pirelli tyres are coming up to their 140th birthday, and were formed in Milan in 1872 by Giovanni Battista Pirelli, who named the company after himself. At the time, Pirelli did not make tyres, instead using their rubber to make breathing apparatus for those who indulged in the sport of scuba diving. As well as being world famous for their tyre manufacture, Pirelli also made cables for well over a hundred years, and only sold the cable arm of their business in 2005, deciding to concentrate solely on their manufacture of tyres.

Italy's capital will forever be synonymous with Pirelli tyres, thanks to the Pirelli tower, which was built as the first Pirelli tyre factory. The huge building looks out over Milan and is a landmark in the city visited by locals and tourists on a regular basis. Pirelli now carry out large parts of their tyre manufacturing process abroad, but Pirelli maintain a strong political influence over the Italian government.

The most famous team in Italian football are also sponsored by Pirelli tyres, Inter Milan, and the company have extended their love of football to England, where the company bought the naming rights to Burton Albion's football stadium, calling it the Pirelli stadium. Pirelli's interest in Burton Albion is due to the location of their factory in Burton, just around the corner from the stadium.

Whilst Pirellis initial tyre manufacturing efforts were pretty run of the mill, it was a request by the Lancia rally team nearly 50 years ago now that put the company on the map. Lancia requested that the Pirelli tyres team created them a tyre that was strong enough to deal with the extra power the Lancia rally car was generating at the time, and the radial tyre we still use today was born.

The tyre later became famous for being used on the Porsche 911 turbo, which is one of the most successful cars ever manufactured, and cemented Pirelli tyres place in motor racing. Pirelli have also maintained an interest in Formula One, and are currently enjoying their fourth adventure into the sport as the sole manufacturer of Formula One tyres after replacing Bridgestone in 2009.

The manufacturer market most of their tyres as P Zeros, with the P Zero Nero their most popular tyre and one of the most popular tyres with driving enthusiasts. Pirelli Tyres have also worked hard to create a more economical tyre, which is designed to reduce rolling resistance and help the car they are fitted on to drive as far as possible on one tank of petrol.