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ArvinMeritor CEO Named World Trader of the Year

Promotes Free Trade to Boost Global Economy

TROY, Mich., March 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Global corporations must continue to push for free trade around the world as the best way to help propel continued economic growth, Charles G. "Chip" McClure, chairman, CEO and president of ArvinMeritor, Inc. (NYSE: ARM), said in a speech delivered Friday to the Detroit Regional Chamber.

The Chamber honored McClure as its World Trader of the Year at its International Consular Ball. The award is given annually to recognize an individual or company that has demonstrated exceptional involvement and made significant contributions in the promotion of international trade with Southeast Michigan.

"As Michigan and the U.S. economies continue to gain momentum toward recovery, it has never been more important to embrace a dynamic global economy and global trade," said McClure. "It's good business for everyone -- both at home and abroad.

"Ninety-five percent of the world's population -- and 80 percent of the world's economy -- is outside U.S. borders," McClure continued, in his Friday night speech. "Competing in overseas markets fuels economic growth and job creation at home."

John Carroll Jr., senior vice president of business development at the Detroit Regional Chamber said, "ArvinMeritor is committed to being a major competitor in the world market, but is equally committed to Detroit and the region."

ArvinMeritor is focusing on global expansion. It recently opened a new facility in Poland, for example. In Asia, ArvinMeritor has 24 facilities, in seven countries, with approximately 2,100 employees. McClure said he had visited more than 35 of ArvinMeritor's locations in his first seven months since assuming the helm of ArvinMeritor.

Also noted by McClure was the opening last year of ArvinMeritor's new Detroit Technical Center and manufacturing facility in southwest Detroit, which now has more than 500 employees. He underscored the company's close collaboration with Southwestern High School in Detroit through mentoring, co- op programs and other efforts.

During his speech, McClure touched on a number of relevant topics:

* The boom in emerging markets. "Established markets will represent only six to 11 percent of production growth in the next five years. Emerging markets are growing seven times faster than North America. Emerging markets are predicted to grow 59 percent over the next five years: China by 93 percent, India by 40 percent, Thailand by 48 percent, Mexico by 37 percent -- and Iran by 62 percent."

* The rise of the China market. "Our company has been in China since the mid-1980s. Anyone who has been to China has seen the exciting growth in the region. Light-vehicle sales have doubled since 2002. Heavy-vehicle sales have almost tripled since 2002."

* The company's U.S. presence. "Currently, just over 50 percent of our sales is still in the United States, and I fully expect to continue to have a strong presence in the United States. However, we must be competitive on a global basis."

* The importance of the new Northwest Airlines terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. "We now have a world-class airport. We're able to travel anywhere in the world ... . It's a critical part of the infrastructure required for a community to complete in a global economy. Oftentimes, it's the first impression for someone arriving from overseas."

* The harm in steel-trade barriers. "Global trade ... also means fundamental fair trade -- specifically as it relates to trade barriers and trade protection that benefits one industry to the disadvantage of another. Many of us are currently experiencing this locally as a result of the recent trade protections that have supported the U.S. steel industry. This action caused our industry to deal with availability issues as well as severe cost increases. The result has had a huge impact on our industry, which in turn affects the national economy, causing it to be far less robust than it would be otherwise."

* His support of fair trade. "We acknowledge and support the efforts of Congressman Joe Knollenberg in calling on the International Trade Commission - - as part of their five-year sunset reviews of anti-dumping or countervailing duties on steel products -- to use their authority to take into account the impact of those duties on steel-consuming manufacturers and the overall economy."

* What the tsunami disaster illustrated. "Today, international free trade strengthens the common thread that binds us and promotes a global sense of community, not just economically but also socially. Most recently, that was demonstrated by the world response to the tsunami tragedy. The magnitude of the disaster was unparalleled, but also the magnitude of support from around the world has not before been seen. It truly redefined the meaning of a 'global sense of community.'"

* The road ahead. "We'll never return to the isolationism of the past. Working in a global community is essential both socially and economically. The last 50 years has seen an unprecedented economic prosperity throughout the world. The next 50 years provides the opportunity for even more growth, and probably at an even faster pace."

ArvinMeritor, Inc. is a premier $8 billion global supplier of a broad range of integrated systems, modules and components to the motor vehicle industry. The company serves light vehicle, commercial truck, trailer and specialty original equipment manufacturers and related aftermarkets. Headquartered in Troy, Mich., ArvinMeritor employs approximately 31,000 people at more than 120 manufacturing facilities in 25 countries. ArvinMeritor common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ARM. For more information, visit the company's Web site at: http://www.arvinmeritor.com /.

SOURCE ArvinMeritor, Inc.

CONTACT:
Media Inquiries:
Krista McClure
ArvinMeritor, Inc.
248-435-7115
krista.mcclure@arvinmeritor.com

 
 
 
 
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