AKRON (May 12, 2000) — Bridgestone Corp., the world´s largest tire and rubber company, has become the seventh member of RubberNetwork.com, a global electronic purchasing and procurement exchange for the tire and rubber industry.
Formation of the venture, which will be an independent company, was announced April 17 by six of the world´s leading tire makers: Goodyear, Group Michelin, Continental A.G., Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd., Pirelli S.p.A. and Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.
With the addition of Bridgestone, the seven members of RubberNetwork.com account for about three-quarters of the world´s tire manufacturing capacity. Altogether, the tire/rubber industry spends more than $50 billion annually on raw materials, equipment, machinery, goods and services, according to information from the e-commerce venture.
RubberNetwork.com said the exchange will enable member companies to increase the efficiency of their operations and achieve substantial cost savings.
The company also announced that it has retained McKinsey and Co., an international management consultant firm, as overall e-commerce adviser for the venture.
RubberNetwork said it expects additional manufacturers and suppliers to join and plans to have its exchange in operation before the end of the year.