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Newsroom Lear Montgomery Seating Plant Honored as Assembly Plant of the Year by ASSEMBLY Magazine


SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Nov. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lear Corporation (NYSE: LEA), one of the world's largest automotive interior suppliers, today announced its Montgomery, Ala. seating plant has been named Assembly Plant of the Year by ASSEMBLY Magazine, a leading industry publication for manufacturing and design engineers, managers and assembly professionals. In addition to an award ceremony that was held at Lear's facility in Montgomery last month, Lear is featured on the cover of the November issue of ASSEMBLY.

Lear's Montgomery Seating Plant has the distinction of being the first automotive supplier to win the award. The plant was selected from approximately 100 nominations from a wide range of U.S. industries, including automotive, aerospace, appliance, medical devices, electronics and consumer goods.

"Being the first automotive supplier to receive the Assembly Plant of the Year award from ASSEMBLY Magazine is a tribute to Lear's world-class manufacturing processes and the teamwork of our employees," said Bob Rossiter, Lear Chairman & CEO. "Lear Montgomery is a shining example of our company's commitment to innovation and our dedication to providing our customers the best service and quality in the industry."

Constructed in 2004 for Hyundai's Sonata & Santa Fe program launch, Lear's Montgomery Seating Plant is a 94,000 square-foot facility which includes 84,000 square feet of manufacturing space. The facility is located on a 20- acre lot and was designed with the ability to expand as Hyundai grows. The plant employs 41 salary and 367 hourly employees.

Montgomery utilizes self-directed teams who manage their own budget, attendance, job assignments, housekeeping and performance discipline. Each team member is certified to perform each of the assigned team operations and team leaders are rotated every six months. The advantages of working in teams include increased ownership, morale and accountability for the plant's employees.

"Empowering our self-directed work groups to make decisions has cultivated an attitude of ownership in each employee," said Duk Kim, Lear Montgomery Plant Manager. "This philosophy creates a culture of awareness and accountability among our team members and the positive influence is reflected in the impact to our bottom line."

One of the key factors in the selection of the Montgomery Seating Plant for this noteworthy award is the way the Lear Montgomery team has successfully applied new technology, such as DC electric tools and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), to build car seats just a few hours before they are installed in Hyundai vehicles.

Montgomery uses a Quality Gate PC-Based Interlock System which improves overall seat quality by monitoring the seat build process. This system works in conjunction with the RFID system to provide positive seat identification and data tracking. RFID ensures a defective seat will not be allowed out of the system until fully repaired.

Montgomery also uses RFID in the outbound shipping process, along with Laser Displacement Technology to ensure its products are loaded in the correct sequence and position when being transported to its customer. And by using DC electric torque tools as opposed to pneumatic tools, Lear Montgomery has greatly improved the accuracy of threaded fastener joining.

"It was Lear Montgomery's success in implementing innovative processes, such as RFID and DC electric tools, which led us to select the location as this year's Assembly Plant of the Year winner," said Austin Weber, senior editor of ASSEMBLY Magazine.

The Assembly Plant of the Year award was established in 2004 to showcase manufacturing facilities that have applied world-class processes to reduce production cost, increase productivity, shorten time to market, or improve product quality. The award was open to all manufacturers that assemble products in the United States.

Lear Corporation is one of the world's largest suppliers of automotive interior systems and components. Lear provides complete seat systems, electronic products and electrical distribution systems and other interior products. With annual net sales of $17.1 billion in 2005, Lear ranks #127 among the Fortune 500. Lear's world-class products are designed, engineered and manufactured by a diverse team of 115,000 employees at 282 locations in 34 countries. Lear's headquarters are in Southfield, Michigan, and Lear is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol [LEA]. Further information about Lear is available on the Internet at .

SOURCE: Lear Corporation

CONTACT: Investor Relations: Mel Stephens, +1-248-447-1624, or
Media: Andrea Puchalsky, +1-248-447-1651, both of Lear Corporation

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Posted on 11/7/2006

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