Bridgestone joins e-trading site AKRON—Bridgestone Corp., the world's largest tire and rubber company, has become the seventh member of RubberNetwork.com, a new global electronic purchasing and procurement exchange for the tire and rubber industry.
Formation of the venture, which will be an independent firm, 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 cost savings. It expects additional manufacturers and suppliers to join and plans to have its exchange in operation before the end of the year.
Web site offers multilingual info
LAS VEGAS—Attendees of this year's Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week, scheduled for Oct. 30-Nov. 3 in Las Vegas, will be able to register and make hotel reservations online at www.aaiwshow.com.
The site also will allow international visitors to access registration forms in Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Arabic, Japanese, Chinese and Korean.
AAIW 2000 will bring together the International Tire Expo, the Specialty Equipment Market Association show and the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo.
Pacific Dunlop to sell GNB biz
READING, Pa.—Automotive battery maker Exide Corp. has agreed to acquire the global battery business of Australia-based Pacific Dunlop Corp., including its U.S. subsidiary GNB Technologies, for approximately $368 million.
The acquisition, expected to close in the fall of 2000, includes $333 million in cash and 4 million Exide common shares. Atlanta-based GNB is a U.S. and Pacific Rim manufacturer of automotive and industrial batteries and posts sales of nearly $1 billion annually.
Pacific Dunlop is divesting GNB to concentrate on its core businesses while retaining a "major equity interest" in Exide, a $2.4 billion company, according to Rod Chadwick, managing director of Pacific Dunlop. The Melbourne-based firm is a 50/50 partner with Goodyear in South Pacific Tyres, located in Australia and New Zealand.
Tiredex.com forms venture
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.—TireDex.com Inc. will partner with Idapta Inc. to develop its second-generation Web site, scheduled to launch in mid-June.
Tiredex.com operates an electronic exchange for tire and wheel manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and brokers.
Atlanta-based Idapta, formerly known as Intelligent/Digital, is a leading provider of software platforms and trading applications for business-to-business e-commerce.
The upgraded Tiredex.com Web site will allow thousands of simultaneous users to conduct everything from fixed price, catalog-style transactions to exchange, auction and reverse-auction trades, the company said.
"Combining Idapta's software and expertise with our in-house information technology staff gives us the tools and the talent to build a cutting-edge electronic marketplace," said TireDex.com CEO Terence Scheckter. "1,500 worldwide members and $15 million in inventory listings are proof that our central marketplace is a viable concept."
BFOR to open mining center
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Bridgestone/Firestone Off Road Tire Co. (BFOR) has created a Global Mining Support Center in Phoenix.
The office is slated to open this month and will service global mining companies based throughout the Western Hemisphere.
Kenzie Iwasaki will be the executive director of the facility. He previously had been vice president of business planning at Cobre Tire, a BFOR unit, where he oversaw off-road tire sales for North and South America. His experience will be a "strong asset," said BFOR President Manny Cicero.
"We can now provide a centralized operation to assist our network of global customers wherever they are operating," Mr. Cicero said.