Fras-le Opens First U.S. Friction Materials Manufacturing Facility in Prattville

October 1, 2008

To continue its growth strategy, Fras-le, one of the world's leading manufacturers of friction materials, announced today that it has opened its first manufacturing facility in the U.S. in Prattville, Alabama.

Fras-le's new 208,000 square foot manufacturing facility will retain 45 jobs in the area. It will also increase Fras-le's production capacity of disc brake pads by 26 percent.

"With the opening of this facility, we continue to increase our global presence," said Daniel Raul Randon, Fras-le's Chief Executive Officer. "In addition, this will allow us to achieve one of our strategic market goals, which is global growth in the commercial vehicle and passenger car brake pad market."

Prattville Mayor Jim Byard was on-site to welcome the new Fras-le employees to their first day on the job.

"On behalf of the citizens of Prattville, I am pleased to welcome Fras-le. Our community welcomes the company to our city's growing business and corporate family," Mayor Byard said. "I am excited for the current employee base and look forward to a long partnership that will be beneficial not only to our citizens, but also to Fras-le as well."

(From L to R) Neal Wade, Director of the Alabama Development Office, Mayor Jim Byard, Jr., and Omar Oliveira, Director of North American Operations for Fras-Le.

At Wednesday's press conference, Mayor Byard welcomed everyone to Fras-Le and the event. He thanked Albert Stripland, Prattville's community volunteer, who has coordinated Prattville's efforts with Fras-Le's efforts. Byard acknowledged State Senator Walking Wendell Mitchell, Macready, Renegar, Fank and County Commissioner Carl Johnson.

Byard explained that this was a very positive announcement. "Fras-Le came in and purchased Haldex Brake Products. They were unsure as to what they wanted to do in Prattville," stated Byard. Because of a lot of hard work by our Chamber officials, by state officials, and Fras-Le, Byard said he felt they were going to announce a long-term relationship with our community.

Neal Wade, Director of the Alabama Development Office and representing Governor Riley at the event, stood and expressed his gratitude at being involved in this announcement. He also acknowledged all the hard work done on every level in the state, the company, and the Prattville community.

Wade said, "The automotive industry is a key target industry for the state of Alabama and has been since 1993. Approximately 135,000 individuals are employed in the automotive industry. Ten years ago, we didn't build one vehicle. Today, we build 800,000. We've got a strong automotive base here. These kind of announcements are very important for us to continue to that growth and that development. It is still a target industry for us. We're going to continue to work in this area and we are proud to have Fras-Le as a part of this and the potential for them to grow here. We're going to help them from the state level."

Omar Oliveira, Director of North American Operations for Fras-Le, is based out of Farmington Hills, Michigan. Oliveira welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming.

He said, "We are starting today at Fras-Le here in Alabama. We hope to grow our business here; that is our intention."

Oliveira then showed a video to educate those present about Fras-Le. He stated that Fras-Le grossed $260 million in revenues last year. Fras-Le North America has been in business for ten years.

Prior to lunch, those assembled were treated to a tour of the facility.

The decision to operate a manufacturing facility in the U.S. is a result of Fras-le's purchase of the tangible and intangible assets of Haldex Brake Products Corporations, previously operated in Prattville, Alabama. Fras-le assumed management of the facility on August 1, 2008.

Headquartered in Caxias do Sul (RS), Brazil, Fras-le is a Randon Company. Fras-le is one of the largest friction materials companies in the world and a leader in sales of brake blocks in the North-American market.

Fras-le also maintains a sales office based in Farmington Hills, Michigan. For more information about the company, visit their website.