Lear invested $15 million in the 63,000-square foot facility, which employs 120 workers. The Brazilian facility supports GM's Gravatai Automotive Complex, which was designed to produce an affordable vehicle in the most efficient way possible.
The new Lear plant is located on a site adjacent to the GM facility and shares a common infrastructure, security, common area utilities and employee amenities such as banking services. Lear supplies GM on a "just-in-time" basis for immediate installation in the vehicle, and all of the material handling for the GM assembly plant is coordinated by a logistics company, also located on the Gravatai site.
"Lear is proud to be among select suppliers chosen by GM to participate in one of the world's most innovative assembly plants," said Kenneth L. Way, Lear Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "GM's decision to include Lear in the Blue Macaw project, which is viewed as a model of efficiency, represents a vote of confidence in our ability to design and produce quality interior systems and support our customers anywhere in the world."
Lear is one of 16 automotive suppliers selected by GM to provide sub- assemblies for the Celta plant, which relies more heavily on outside suppliers to do assembly work than traditional auto factories. Key suppliers such as Lear worked with GM from the conception of the vehicle to bring their best ideas to the production process. This differs from the typical development procedure where the automaker designs the complete vehicle and its specifications.
Lear Corporation, a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Southfield, Mich., USA, focuses on automotive interiors and electronics and is the world's fifth-largest automotive supplier. Sales in 1999 were $12.4 billion. The company's world-class products are designed, engineered and manufactured by more than 120,000 employees in over 300 facilities located in 33 countries. Information about Lear and its products is available on the Internet at www.lear.com