Lear Corporation (NYSE: LEA), one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, today hosted the ceremonial opening of a new automotive seat trim manufacturing facility in Palmela near Lisbon. Randall Carron, President – International Operations for Lear Corporation, presided over the ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the automotive supplier’s major investment in Portugal. Dr. Joaquim de Pina Moura, Minister of Finance and Economy, was among the featured guests expected to participate in the event.

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The 400,000 square-foot plant represents a multi-million dollar investment by Lear and was partly funded by a Portuguese government grant. Official production of seat trim and head and arm rests for European vehicle manufacturers began in Palmela late last year. The facility employs approximately 1,600 people in manufacturing, engineering and administrative offices on a 30-acre site in the Palmela region.

“This particular region is a growth area for the automotive sector and for Lear, and the choice of this location was a combination of three key factors: the people, the infrastructure and the economic attractiveness of the area,” said Lear’s Carron. “The decision to invest in Portugal demonstrates Lear’s continued growth and supports our strategic expansion plans in Europe.”

Attending the ribbon cutting ceremony at the Palmela facility were the plant’s key customers and suppliers as well as local and state government officials instrumental in bringing Lear to the region.

Lear Corporation, a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Southfield, Mich. (USA), is one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers with 1999 sales of $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