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Newsroom Lear Corp. Announces Opening of New Plant at Ford Motor Company's Chicago Manufacturing Campus

Chicago, August 10, 2004 – Lear Corporation [NYSE: LEA] today announced the official opening of its new facility at Ford Motor Company's Chicago Manufacturing Campus. The facility supplies headliners and distributes package trays for the Ford Five Hundred sedan, Ford Freestyle all-purpose vehicle and Mercury Montego sedan.

Lear invested nearly $4 million to build the 53,760 square-foot facility, which employs 70 people and is located one-half mile from Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant where the all-new models are built. Five Hundred reinvents the sedan market delivering Command Seating™, while Ford Freestyle bridges the gap between sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and traditional passenger cars, combining SUV attributes with the ride of a car. All three vehicles are available this fall.

In manufacturing the headliners, Lear is utilizing a unique automated assembly process to deliver these components in sequence to the Chicago Assembly Plant. Lear also supplies seat systems for the three models from a nearby just-in-time facility in Hammond, Ind., and flooring, acoustics and electronics manufactured at various other Lear facilities.

“Lear is proud to be among the select suppliers chosen by Ford to participate in the first supplier park for Ford in the United States," said Bob Rossiter, Lear chairman and chief executive officer. “The Chicago Manufacturing Complex is the ultimate example of the application of lean manufacturing concepts and is designed to improve the efficiency and quality of the production process. Ford's decision to include Lear in this campus represents a vote of confidence in our role as its partner for world-class automotive interior systems."

Lear is one of 12 suppliers participating in the 155-acre supplier manufacturing campus, the first of its kind for Ford in the U.S. The benefits associated with establishing a supplier park include reduced travel time and cost from supplier to customer, increased flexibility and quicker response to customer preferences, and elimination of the costs of packaging and the risk of product damage associated with long-distance freight hauling.

Lear Corporation, a FORTUNE 500 company headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, USA, focuses on integrating complete automotive interiors, including seat systems, interior trim and electrical systems. With annual net sales of $15.75 billion in 2003, Lear is the world's largest automotive interior systems supplier. The company's world-class products are designed, engineered and manufactured by more than 110,000 employees. At December 31, 2003, Lear had 289 facilities located in 34 countries. Further information about Lear and its products is available on the Internet at

Posted on 8/10/2004

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