With automotive sales expected to rise 13-15% this year to 15 million units, the red-hot China market is irresistible for any company even tacitly connected to the consumer auto market. As a part of the Chinese auto market that is obviously important but rarely thought of, competition among tire makers in China is reaching fever pitch, with established brands from at home and abroad pulling out all the stops to ensure as many of the 60 million tires necessary to outfit the vehicles sold in mainland China this year are theirs.
The new Chinese logo, Pirelli explains, uses long brush strokes and elongated Chinese characters to echo the famous, extended “P” in the company’s familiar global logo, and blends Chinese cultural elements with Pirelli’s classic logo.
Introducing the new logo, Giuseppe Cattaneo, Pirelli Tyre Asia-Pacific CEO, stated, “the Pirelli Group is renowned for employing passionate innovation. Through this Chinese logo, we hope to demonstrate our passionate pursuit of innovation and high-performance as well as the admiration we have for the Chinese culture. I am proud to present this logo as a bridge of cultural exchange between Italy and China and I am even prouder as I look forward to what the logo stands for: the great importance Pirelli places upon the China market and the continued efforts for our further expansion here.”
Pirelli says it remains “strategically targeted” towards the Chinese market, investing in expanding production capacity, product localization, network building, and the fostering of local talent.
It's not a terribly exciting story, but it does reflect an interesting development. Companies expanding -- and, perhaps more importantly, working hard to actually compete -- in the Chinese market are finding that simply transliterating your company name without a whole lot of thought or planning simply won't work anymore. To set yourself apart -- especially if you're a company that hasn't had a strong presence in China, which almost none have had for more than 30 years -- a good Chinese name, a good Chinese logo, and a good localization campaign are key.