RubberNetwork.com announced today that Japan's Bridgestone Corp. has become its seventh member company.

Bridgestone joins Continental AG, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Groupe Michelin, Pirelli SpA and Sumitomo Rubber Industries.

It is also announced that McKinsey and Company, an international management consultancy, has been retained as overall e-commerce advisor for the initiative, with an announcement on the technology provider to be made in the near future.

RubberNetwork.com -- which will be an independent company -- was announced April 17, as a global electronic purchasing and procurement exchange for the tire and rubber industry. Total industry purchases represent more than $50 billion a year spent on raw materials, equipment, machinery, goods and services. The seven member companies represent approximately 75 percent of global tire industry manufacturing capacity.

The exchange will enable member companies to increase the efficiency of their operations and to achieve substantial savings in the cost of doing business.

RubberNetwork.com welcomes the opportunity to work closely with other exchanges, especially those associated with the auto industry.

Additional manufacturers and suppliers are expected to join the exchange, which intends to be operating before the end of the year.