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American Axle Adding European Manufacturing Site

June 1, 2006
Poland operation set to start late in 2006

June 1, 2006 -- American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. plans to set up a manufacturing facility in Poland, its second international expansion project announced in the past six months. The Dearborn, MI-based company plans to buy an undescribed manufacturing operation in Olawa, Poland, and update it with the addition of new process equipment, suited to the needs of AAM’s existing European customers.

"We are extremely pleased to make this announcement of the expansion of AAM's global footprint into Eastern Europe," says AAM exec.v.p. - Worldwide Manufacturing Richard F. (Rick) Dauch. "The automotive industry is a global enterprise, and OEMs continue to produce vehicles with a commonality of systems across multiple platforms. Our expansion onto Continental Europe, allows AAM to provide the European marketplace with our high technology, driveline systems, modules, and drive train components at a globally competitive cost."

AAM manufactures driveline systems and related components and modules, chassis systems, and forged products for light trucks, SUVs, passenger cars, and crossover vehicles.

In April the company broke ground for its new manufacturing operation in China’s Jiangsu province. It plans to manufacture independent rear-drive axles, power-transfer units, integrated oil pan front-axle modules, and driveshafts for several Chinese automakers.

The operation at Olawa will begin later this year. AAM named Kim C. Forshee as its plant manager to oversee the development and installation, and to be responsible for the operation once production begins.

In addition, AAM states that approximately 75 acres adjacent to the building have been acquired for future development. The company explains that it has designed a 170,000-ft2 plant for the site. No timetable or specific operations were provided for that expansion program.

AAM says the site in Poland will be offer “excellent geographic access” to all of Europe’s vehicle manufacturers, and allow it to expand its presence in that region.