Lear Corporation, one of the world’s largest automotive interior suppliers, today announced its Montgomery, Ala. seating plant has been named Assembly Plant of the Year by Assembly Magazine, an industry publication for manufacturing and design engineers, managers and assembly professionals. In addition to an award ceremony that was held at Lear’s facility in Montgomery last month, Lear is featured on the cover of the November issue of Assembly. Lear’s Montgomery Seating Plant has the distinction of being the first automotive supplier to win the award. The plant was selected from approximately 100 nominations from a wide range of U.S. industries, including automotive, aerospace, appliance, medical devices, electronics and consumer goods. “Being the first automotive supplier to receive the Assembly Plant of the Year award from Assembly Magazine is a tribute to Lear’s world-class manufacturing processes and the teamwork of our employees,” said Bob Rossiter, Lear Chairman & CEO. Constructed in 2004 for Hyundai’s Sonata & Santa Fe program launch, Lear’s Montgomery Seating Plant is a 94,000 square-foot facility which includes 84,000 square feet of manufacturing space. The facility is located on a 20- acre lot and was designed with the ability to expand as Hyundai grows. The plant employs 41 salary and 367 hourly employees. Montgomery utilizes self-directed teams who manage their own budget, attendance, job assignments, housekeeping and performance discipline. Each team member is certified to perform each of the assigned team operations and team leaders are rotated every six months. The advantages of working in teams include increased ownership, morale and accountability for the plant’s employees. “Empowering our self-directed work groups to make decisions has cultivated an attitude of ownership in each employee,” said Duk Kim, Lear Montgomery Plant Manager. “This philosophy creates a culture of awareness and accountability among our team members and the positive influence is reflected in the impact to our bottom line.” One of the key factors in the selection of the Montgomery Seating Plant for this noteworthy award is the way the Lear Montgomery team has successfully applied new technology, such as DC electric tools and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), to build car seats just a few hours before they are installed in Hyundai vehicles. “It was Lear Montgomery’s success in implementing innovative processes, such as RFID and DC electric tools, which led us to select the location as this year’s Assembly Plant of the Year winner,” said Austin Weber, senior editor of Assembly Magazine. The Assembly Plant of the Year award was established in 2004 to showcase manufacturing facilities that have applied world-class processes to reduce production cost, increase productivity, shorten time to market, or improve product quality. The award was open to all manufacturers that assemble products in the United States.