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Newsroom Lear Craftsmanship Creates Driving Impressions With Today's Educated Consumer


SOUTHFIELD, Mich., April 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Interiors have become a hot topic in the automotive industry for one reason: consumers form their opinion on a vehicle based on the look and feel of its components and the level of perceived quality. Regardless of how well a car is engineered, if the fit and finish doesn't match or any of the components look inexpensive, consumers believe that the entire vehicle is lacking in quality. Increasing consumer attention to "look and feel" has spurred heightened automaker focus on interior quality and craftsmanship.

Automakers are keenly focused on interior craftsmanship as they seek to set appearance goals that set their products apart from the competition. According to Experian and the Warwick Manufacturing Group, the quality of a vehicle's craftsmanship is more important to owners than its drive -- or even reliability -- when influencing brand loyalty in the highly competitive premium car segment. Repeat purchasing is directly linked to consumer satisfaction and craftsmanship.

"Craftsmanship is about quality of design execution that gives the product the appearance of being well made and well functioning at its very early interaction with the customer," said Douglas DelGrosso, Lear's president and chief operating officer.

"Perception is not always conscious, but perception can be influenced," he continued. "As the result of extensive consumer research, Lear is relentless about establishing appearance goals for interiors based on five Harmony and Craftsmanship principles -- precise appearance, harmonious integration of parts, appropriate materials, functional interface and perceived spacious environment."

Lear engineers and designers have developed new manufacturing techniques, such as the Two-Shot molding process and the innovative use of new materials like Spray PUR™ polyurethane applications to improve craftsmanship, design flexibility and reliability for automakers.

Two-shot technology is an injection-molding process that first shoots a material on a substrate then moves or rotates to shoot a second color or material -- all in one mold cycle. This produces a part that can be a combination of two different colors, materials or textures. With one molding cycle and reduction of assembly time, there can be considerable cost savings, as well as increased design flexibility and craftsmanship.

Spray PUR is the process of spraying polyurethane over a tool for a soft skin automotive part. The urethane is typically two components: icocyanate plus polyol which react in the tool or mixing head to form one polyurethane skin. The benefits are improved craftsmanship, with superior grain definition and low gloss, as well as a softer touch and multi-tone option. The finish also offers excellence performance/durability and scratch resistance.

Lear Corporation (NYSE: LEA) 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 .

SOURCE: Lear Corporation

CONTACT: Andrea Puchalsky, Director - Corporate Communications of Lear
Corporation, +1-248-447-1651

Web site:

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Posted on 4/3/2006

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