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Valeo and IBM to Collaborate for Automotive Software Development

PARIS, May 4, 2005 -- Valeo, one of the world's leading automotive suppliers, and IBM, the worldwide leader in information technology and services, today announced the launch of a new initiative to expand embedded software capabilities. Valeo will provide automotive expertise and IBM will provide process and methodology support in embedded software within a new Valeo division being created. This joint initiative is designed to achieve high quality, cost optimised and best-in-class reliability and safety for automotive software.

This innovative software division will support Valeo Branches to manage increasing electronics and software technology in vehicles. It will also allow Valeo to meet future AUTOSAR standards. This new Valeo division will be operational in July 2005 and will employ more than 80 software engineers by the end of this year.

"This initiative is another important step in Valeo's strategy to be a leading supplier of reliable and cost-effective automotive electronics solutions provider" said Thierry Morin, Valeo Chairman & CEO. "Electronics enables new innovations that contribute to greater safety, comfort and environmental protection, and this association with IBM will enable us to rapidly enhance our electronics processes and competences."

"This arrangement with Valeo is part of our commitment to enabling innovation in the automotive industry through embedded software technology and services," said Janette Beauchamp, IBM General Manager, Global Automotive Industry.

Recent market research shows that 90 percent of automotive innovation is expected to come from electronics by 2010. Electronics can increase automakers ability to differentiate automobiles in an increasingly competitive marketplace. With the constantly rising amount of software code in automobiles, electronics expertise and reliable process development among suppliers have become vital.

Valeo is an independent industrial group fully focused on the design, production and sale of components, integrated systems and modules for cars and trucks. Valeo ranks among the world's top automotive suppliers. The Group has 132 plants, 66 R&D centers, 9 distribution centers and employs 69,500 people in 27 countries worldwide.