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Newsroom Lear Corporation Honors Eight Suppliers in Sixth Annual Hall of Fame Awards Program

Southfield, Mich., June 8, 2004 – Lear Corporation [NYSE: LEA] today announced the presentation of Hall of Fame Awards to eight suppliers based on best-in-class service to Lear.

The winning companies were acknowledged at the company's sixth annual awards program. Eight suppliers were honored for exceeding expectations and demonstrating excellence in the areas of quality, delivery, service and competitiveness using the Lear Supplier Rating System.

“Customer service and quality are key elements of success in the automotive business," said Bob Rossiter, Lear Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “All of the world's major automakers count on Lear to deliver the best possible quality and service. In turn, we count on our supply base to deliver the same for us."

This year's recipients were chosen from over 3,200 companies that supply Lear globally. The Lear Corporation Supplier Hall of Fame Award 2003 recipients are:

BAE / Seat Mechanisms
The Brown Corporation of America, Inc. / Metals/Mechanisms
Central Carolina Products, Inc. / Plastics
Continental Plastics / Trim Components
Ontario Die International / Cutting Systems/Tooling
Owens Corning / Acoustical Materials
Sofanou, Incorporated / Tubing/Plastics
W.E.T. Automotive / Seat Climate Systems

BAE Industries Inc.

BAE industries is one of Lear's leading suppliers of seat mechanisms. The company produces recliners, latches and stampings for multiple Lear seating plants in North America. BAE, with manufacturing locations in Center Line and Auburn Hills, Mich., is one of Lear's largest diversity suppliers. An expertise in design and manufacturing of complex mechanisms has made them an industry leader in North America.

Ergonomic designs assisted Lear in securing several new business programs. BAE continues to impress the Lear program teams with innovative products and attention to detail and quality. This is their second straight year as a Lear Hall of Fame winner, which is proof of their dedication to competitive quality products.

The Brown Corporation of America

Brown Corporation is one of the largest suppliers of interior steel structures in the automotive industry. Brown's expertise in metal forming and welding has made them one of the largest and fastest-growing external suppliers to Lear. The company's design innovations and use of lightweight materials have assisted Lear in meeting several key program targets.

Brown is also one of the largest producers of instrument panel structural systems, which is an integral part of Lear's cockpit designs. The Ionia, Mich.– based supplier continues to stress quality, while maintaining a competitive market position. Brown was also a recipient of the 2002 Lear Hall of Fame Award and continues to be a leader in their commodity.

Central Carolina Products, Inc.

Central Carolina Products is a custom plastics injection molder, painter and assembler located in Burlington, N.C. Established in 1993, Central Carolina currently produces various plastic components for interior trim and under-the-hood applications on various models.

Central Carolina has shown exceptional flexibility in taking on new business as well as resourcing opportunities. The company consistently goes above and beyond expectations and has shown a relentless commitment to Lear's continuous improvement philosophy.

Continental Plastics

Continental Plastics is a fully integrated supplier of trim covers, armrest assemblies, and bolster assemblies. Headquartered in Fraser, Mich., it supplies Lear with cut & sew trim covers, armrests assemblies, and door bolster & pillar assemblies. The company is a full service supplier with program management, engineering, and complete design capability.

Continental's diverse product capability and knowledge make them a valuable supplier to Lear. Backed by more than 30 years of plastic engineering experience, Continental Plastics has provided Lear with products and services above and beyond expectation.

Ontario Die International

Ontario Die International is a dedicated supplier of cutting solutions in the area of automotive trim. Headquartered in Kitchener, Ont., the company is the world's leading developer and provider of cutting systems, methods and tooling. Ontario Die's products and services have enabled Lear to realize continual improvements in productivity, part accuracy and material efficiency.

The company's ability to respond to compressed and demanding delivery requirements has made it an integral partner in achieving smooth, on time launch of Lear's seat build programs.

Owens Corning

Owens Corning is a Toledo, Ohio-based global leader in the building materials and composite materials industries. Owens Corning supplies Lear with acoustical materials (VersaMat™ Products) for Lear's flooring and acoustics business and reinforcing materials (fiberglass roving).

The company supplies Lear from three plants in Ohio; two in Texas; and one each in Indiana, Pennsylvania and Brantford, Ont. Owens Corning plans for growth to support Lear through a joint development agreement in the area of flooring and acoustics.

Sofanou, Inc.

Sofanou, Inc. is Lear's leading supplier of convoluted tubing. Headquartered in France, Sofanou is a global company that specializes in the design and production of extruded plastic components for thermal management, protective sleeving and wire-harness coverings.

Sofanou has shown excellent flexibility and support to Lear in taking on new business with their recent manufacturing facility expansion into Honduras. Sofanou's commitment to low cost, superior quality, timely delivery and the latest technology, coupled with their innovation and creativity in servicing assembly plants, has made them a valued supplier to Lear.

W.E.T. Automotive Systems

W.E.T. Automotive Systems is a global supplier of seat-heating systems and conductive components.

Headquartered in Germany, W.E.T. Automotive's dependable production methods, along with its latest-technology information management systems, have earned the company certification for ISO 9001/2, ISO/TS 16949/2002, VDA 6.1 and QS-9000. These attributes ensure a successful future relationship and growth with Lear in the area of seat climate systems.

“Our top priority continues to be quality and service. We salute these top-performing suppliers for helping us meet the ever-increasing requirements of our customers," Rossiter concluded.

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 6/8/2004

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