Lear Corporation (NYSE: LEA - news) has announced plans to establish a new manufacturing facility in Zwiesel, Germany, as part of the company's ongoing expansion in Europe.

The new facility will produce injection-molded components for hard trim, doors and instrument panels for installation in vehicles built by General Motors Corp., DaimlerChrysler AG, Porsche AG and Volkswagen AG. Lear will employ approximately 170 people at the new operation when it begins official production next year.

"This new venture in Zwiesel demonstrates Lear's commitment to our European customers and the region's automotive market," said Kenneth L. Way, Lear Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We are pleased with the level of support and cooperation we have received from the local government to establish this new operation."

Lear currently employs nearly 4,000 people in Germany at 18 locations, including the company's international headquarters located in Sulzbach, Germany.

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.