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Press Room Lear Named Supplier of the Year by Mahindra & Mahindra; Continues Growth in India with New Award for Ingenio Model

PRNewswire-FirstCall
SOUTHFIELD, Mich.
(NYSE:LEA)

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., May 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lear Corporation (NYSE: LEA), one of the world's largest automotive interior suppliers, today announced it has received the Supplier Performance Award of the Year for Product Development by Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M). Additionally, Lear disclosed it continues to add new business outside of North America with an award for the seating on M&M's future "Ingenio" utility vehicle.

The Ingenio program is the replacement vehicle for the Bolero utility vehicle, scheduled to launch in 2008. M&M commands a substantial portion of India's semi-urban and rural vehicle markets following the introduction of premium multipurpose-utility vehicles like Bolero and Scorpio. Lear has a major presence on M&M's current utility vehicle product offerings with annual production of approximately 122,000 vehicles, and is ramping up production for two additional programs to be introduced later this year and early in 2007.

"Lear has had a long and successful relationship with M&M, beginning in 1998, when it was awarded the Scorpio sport-utility vehicle total interior program," said Lear Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Bob Rossiter. "This partnership has allowed Lear to expand its business in India, one of several key markets where we are making progress in growing and diversifying our sales portfolio globally. The contributions we have made to Mahindra's success were recently recognized when Lear was awarded M&M's Supplier Performance Award of the Year, the first year the supplier awards were instituted by M&M."

Lear began supplying seats in 1998 from two plants in Mumbai and Nashik, India, where M&M plants are located. Lear won the Scorpio program -- M&M's first indigenously developed sport-utility vehicle -- less than two years after establishing operations in India as a result of its reputation as a leader in automotive interiors, solid performance record and dedication to work in partnership with its customers. As the first complete interior system ever awarded to Lear, this program encompassed engineering, design, manufacture and supply of a complete interior system.

In January 2002, Lear completed a 100,000 square-foot integrated manufacturing facility in Nashik to supply all seat requirements of M&M's utility vehicles and the complete interior of the Scorpio which launched in June 2002. To support the development of this program, Lear also established its India Engineering Center (IEC), a state-of-the-art engineering and design center in Mumbai, India. Since its introduction, the Scorpio has been universally acclaimed and was named "Car of the Year" in India by CNBC Autocar, BBC Wheels and Business Standard Motoring. Following the launch of the Scorpio, IEC now supports Lear's engineering and design work worldwide.

In November 2004, Lear was awarded the all-new Scorpio, as well as the Scorpio Single Cab/Double Cab (SC/DC) programs. The award is for the full development of both these platforms including seating, instrument panels, floor consoles, trim and carpeting at a competitive cost in a short span of less than one year. The new Scorpio was launched in March 2006, and the SC/DC launch is scheduled for July 2006.

In July 2005, Lear was awarded the seat business by Mahindra Renault Limited, to be launched in January 2007. Lear is constructing a new 60,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Nashik to support these new programs.

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, Lear ranks #127 among the Fortune 500. The Company'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 http://www.lear.com/ .

SOURCE: Lear Corporation

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

Web site: http://www.lear.com/

Company News On-Call: http://www.prnewswire.com/comp/518304.html

Posted on 5/15/2006

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