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Ninety Years of “Pirelli Pride” in Brazil

It was the spring of 1929 when Pirelli took over the Companhia Nacional de Artefactos de Cobre (CONAC), a small Brazilian company in the electrical conductor sector, based in San Bernardo, not far from São Paulo. On 25 October that year, Giorgio Pirelli, the third child of the founder Giovanni Battista, was appointed company chairman. In the meantime, construction had started on a large new plant in Capuava, a municipality of Santo André, also in the industrial outskirts of São Paulo. Capuava was up and running in 1931, producing cables. Tyres were added in 1941, and Pirelli S.A. Companhia Industrial Brasileira was born.

Pirelli’s expansion in Brazil was constant and massive: the factory in Santo André was gradually joined by one in Campinas, and one in Gravataí, near Porto Alegre, and another in Sumaré, with the first tyre test track in South America. The opening in 1986 of the modern complex in Feira de Santana, in the State of Bahia, was a great step towards the introduction of advanced eco-compatible processes in the world of manufacturing.

Brazil is almost a second home to Pirelli, and the special place that Brazilian factories immediately acquired within the Group needed the right communication instruments, leading to the launch of Noticias Pirelli, the Brazilian house organ, in 1956, just six years after the Italian Fatti e Notizie. In Noticias we find reports on the “Onde trabalha papai?” initiative, the Brazilian version of factory open days, which were also being held at the time at the Milano Bicocca plant, welcoming the families of workers and employees.

Company meet-ups for festivities such as the “Festa de Natal” and “A Pascoas” became authentic institutions. Culture leverage is one of the most important ways of motivating employees: together with the Pirelli Cultural Centre in Milan, an equally active Pirelli Club operates at the Santo André plant: the factory becomes an arena of artistic events, exhibitions, and literary meetings with leading exponents of contemporary Brazilian culture. The events promoted by the Pirelli Club include theatre performances reserved exclusively for employees. There are also intense sports activities, with the creation of the Club Atlético Pirelli (CAP), encouraging employees to take up a variety of sports, ranging from football to cycling, to basketball, volleyball, athletics, and boxing.

São Paulo and Milan have thus always been linked by a powerful bond, channelling the same willingness of employees to become involved, creating close interaction with their local communities, with a constant focus on issues outside of the world of industry. These issues are ultimately the company’s social responsibility, and in the Brazilian house organ they become “Pirelli Pride”. From today, alongside the Pirelli and Fatti e Notizie magazines, and the Vado e Torno periodical for road hauliers, also the pages of Noticias Pirelli can now be consulted online at this link.

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