Lear Corporation (NYSE: LEA) and Exide Corporation (NYSE: EX) today announced that they have signed a letter of intent to enter into a strategic collaboration to co-develop and market advanced power packaging solutions for the automotive industry. The collaboration will focus on designing state-of-the-art interior systems to meet the increasing complexity and power requirements of conventional, hybrid and electrical vehicles.

Exide and Lear will package advanced forms of electrical energy storage as integral parts of the interior components and systems produced by Lear. A key component of these interior modules will be the Exide Select Orbital Battery, an innovative, cylindrically wound battery that can be configured into unusual shapes and six-volt modules to meet the power requirements of tomorrow's vehicles, including 42-volt power-net systems.

"Consumers are demanding more electronic products in their vehicles than ever before and we must find creative ways to integrate and power them," said Lear Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ken Way. "This collaboration will leverage Lear's leadership in developing and integrating vehicle interior and electrical systems -- what we call Intertronics(TM) -- with Exide's expertise in electrical power storage solutions. Our goal is to provide automotive companies and their customers with the power and flexibility to add an ever-expanding array of products and features to their vehicles."

Exide Chairman Robert A. Lutz noted, "The power requirements of video, audio, heating, cooling, safety and security control devices will necessitate higher voltage electrical systems in vehicles and, most likely, multiple batteries. By using the advanced technology of the Orbital Battery, we're increasing the reservoir for powering the vehicle. It's a situation in which everybody wins -- especially the consumer."

The Exide Select Orbital Battery's cylindrical-cell design uses a non-liquid, leak-proof electrolyte and provides virtually endless packaging opportunities that make it flexible and capable of taking on unusual shapes for positioning in multiple locations throughout the vehicle. In addition, because the Orbital is sealed and non-gassing, it can be placed within the passenger compartment.