Lear Corporation (NYSE: Lea) and The Bing Group today announced an expansion of the Bing-Lear Manufacturing Group joint venture, formerly Detroit Automotive Interiors, to include the exterior mirror operations formerly owned by Lear. Financial terms of the sale of Lear’s exterior mirror business in Berne, Ind., were not disclosed.
The mirror operations, which were included in Lear’s acquisition of United Technologies Automotive in 1999, employ a workforce of 350 at three locations in Berne. The facilities produce exterior mirror systems for major automakers, with annual sales in excess of $50 million.
“Our business association with Dave Bing has always been highly successful and we expect Bing-Lear Manufacturing to continue to grow,” said Kenneth L. Way, Lear Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Lear is committed to growing its minority partner alliances as part of our continued effort to support and encourage supplier diversity.”
“We look forward to expanding our share of the $600 million annual market for exterior automotive mirrors,” said Dave Bing, Chairman of The Bing Group. “Based on discussions with our customers, we believe this agreement will allow us to leverage the joint capabilities of our companies to increase our sales in this segment.”
Lear will continue to have a 49% stake in Bing-Lear Manufacturing Group. Lear began its partnership with The Bing Group in 1996 through Detroit Automotive Interiors, a joint venture in Detroit’s Empowerment Zone created to supply seats to the automotive industry.
The Bing Group, a Detroit-based automotive supplier with 1999 sales of $304 million, is the fifth-largest African-American company based on a recent annual survey by Black Enterprise magazine. The company employs more than 1,100 employees in its Bing-Lear Manufacturing Group and Bing Metals Group operations. Information about the Bing Group can be found on the Internet at www.binggroup.com
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