Lear Corporation (NYSE: LEA - news) has announced the formation of Total Interior Systems - America (TISA), a joint venture with Takashimaya Nippatsu Kogyo Co. Ltd. (TNK), and said TISA has been selected to supply seat systems for the Sienna minivan to be built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana, beginning in 2003.

The TISA joint venture will allow Lear and TNK to broaden their customer bases and combine their resources to lower costs and optimize quality. TISA will locate a facility in Princeton, Ind., to allow it to produce and deliver seat systems on a just-in-time basis to the Toyota plant. Financial terms of the agreement with Toyota were not disclosed.

"Total Interior Systems - America will bring together the best of both companies and cultures to develop and produce new seating solutions for the automotive market," said Tomio Suzuki, President of TNK. "After years of cooperation, both companies agreed it would be mutually beneficial to combine their skills and talents to offer vehicle manufacturers further options in automotive interior systems."

"We are extremely pleased to be given an opportunity to supply seat systems to Toyota through our new joint venture with TNK," said Bob Rossiter, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lear Corporation. "This project with Toyota is further proof that our goal to 'Advance Relentlessly,' as the ultimate resource for world-class automotive interior products is bearing fruit."

Japan-based TNK is a major supplier of seats and door panels to Toyota, with 1999 sales of $800 million. The supplier employs 2,200 persons at eight assembly plants in Japan, as well as its operations in China, the Philippines, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.

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