RubberNetwork.com launches new site

Global e-commerce transactions to begin in April

Atlanta, Feb. 8, 2001 - RubberNetwork.com LLC, a global electronic purchasing and procurement marketplace created by six leading companies in the tire and rubber industry, has taken the first steps as it prepares for transactions to begin in April -- less than one year after it was first announced.

The on-line marketplace has launched its web site, www.RubberNetwork.com, which will allow persons interested in buying or selling - or even in a career with RubberNetwork - to get more information and make contact with the company. RubberNetwork is headquartered in Atlanta.

The e-commerce company's Board of Managers has named Bob Webster as vice president of operations. A chief executive officer will be named later.

"RubberNetwork intends to be the premier electronic marketplace in the tire and rubber industry," said Webster. "We will foster innovation and contribute to its future in ways never imagined a year ago."

The company's business objectives call for it to help its customers make fundamental change to their critical purchasing and procurement business processes. "The e-business solutions provided by RubberNetwork will be tailored to optimize the process across the value chain, translating into better service for our customers," said Webster.

"We are already at work building the network marketplace and filling key staff positions. Additionally, we are actively seeking other companies in the tire and rubber industry to join RubberNetwork," he added.

The electronic marketplace will initially focus on the purchasing services of the founding companies and other industry participants. Service offerings will be tailored to the needs of individual companies through a full range of specific consulting offerings.

Beyond procurement services, RubberNetwork plans to offer a complete set of marketplace solutions to individual companies, including e-catalogs, auctions, reverse auctions, requests for proposals and quotes and supply chain management.

"RubberNetwork will expand its offerings over time to include a broad range of industry-related services," said Webster. "This will provide the basis for facilitating important changes within the tire and rubber industry, including its suppliers."

RubberNetwork.com LLC is an independent company and fully funded by its founding companies.

"We will adhere to the strictest of confidentiality with all of our customers," Webster said. "Appropriate business policy and technology firewalls are in place to provide a secure, private environment designed for maximum confidentiality and adherence to applicable laws."

RubberNetwork recently received approval from the German Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt) clearing the transaction and giving a green light to the establishment of the marketplace and to the commencement of its operations.

RubberNetwork's founding members are six of the largest companies in the tire and rubber industry. They are: Continental AG, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Pirelli SpA, Groupe Michelin and Sumitomo Rubber Industries. They represent about half of the industry's global tire manufacturing capacity. Total purchases for the industry are estimated at more than $50 billion a year on raw materials, equipment, machinery, goods and services.

The RubberNetwork marketplace will be open to all tire and rubber industry manufacturers and suppliers. RubberNetwork also welcomes the opportunity to work closely with other existing and future exchanges.


Continental (Germany)
Petra Hamich
Michelin (France)
Patrick Oliva
Cooper (U.S.)
Roger Hendriksen
Pirelli (Italy)
Daniele Pirola
Goodyear (U.S.)
Keith Price
Sumitomo (Japan)
Masatoshi Hayashi