TRW Inc. and the SAVVA Group of Companies announced a strategic partnership today to provide automotive safety systems for the Russian vehicle market. Financial terms were not disclosed. Under the agreement, SAVVA will utilize TRW's proprietary seat belt technologies and manufacturing know-how at SAVVA's seat belt production facility in Russia.

The TRW-SAVVA partnership provides the foundation for both companies to grow in the expanding Russian marketplace and to contribute to the renewal of Russia's automotive supplier industry. The agreement also strengthens SAVVA's technology base as the country's only wholly Russian-owned seat-belt manufacturer.

Russian automakers built more than 1 million light vehicles last year, placing Russia among Europe's major auto-producing countries. With more than 140 million inhabitants, high education levels, and a wealth of natural resources, Russia has an automotive market with high growth potential. Several of TRW's OEM customers currently have investment projects in various stages of development to serve the Russian marketplace.

"We are very pleased to join forces with SAVVA, a progressive and well-managed Russian company," said James F. Smith, TRW executive vice president and general manager of Occupant Safety Systems. "SAVVA's extensive experience in trade, transportation, and logistics will be invaluable to TRW. Moreover, building upon SAVVA's existing seat-belt activities allows TRW to follow our global OEM customers into the Russian market and to effectively serve the domestic vehicle manufacturers."

Nikita Kolesnikov, president and chief executive officer of the SAVVA Group, said, "With TRW as our partner, we are now well-positioned to bring our seat-belt operations up to world-class standards. At the same time, we will gradually integrate TRW's technologies with local sourcing to produce an optimal mix for our Russian customers. As the global automakers bring their Russian ventures on line, SAVVA and TRW will be uniquely positioned to meet their seat-belt needs."

The Moscow-based SAVVA Group of Companies is a diversified holding company with interests in shipping, transportation, textiles, consumer goods, sanitary ware, and automotive products. SAVVA's 1999 sales exceeded $430 million. The company employs more than 1,700 people across the CIS (Confederation of Independent States) and in offices in major cities worldwide.

TRW is the world's largest producer of seat belts. TRW's occupant safety systems business, including air bag, seat belt and steering wheel systems, serves all the major global vehicle makers. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, TRW (NYSE:TRW) provides advanced technology products and services to the automotive and the aerospace and information technology markets. The company's 1999 sales were $17 billion. TRW news is available on the internet at