GM beefs up laser investment

July 19--Noble International Ltd. announced it has entered into an Advanced Development Agreement with General Motors (GM) related to body structures for future vehicle programs. Under terms of the agreement, Noble will work with GM to design structural systems that improve vehicle performance, safety, and manufacturability while reducing cost and weight.

Noble's President Steven Prue stated, "By working together in the early stages of the vehicle design process, we can work with GM to maximize the benefits of laser-welded flat blanks and tubular structures. We believe this agreement provides us with the opportunity to drive the growth of the market for laser-welded structural components, thereby creating additional value for General Motors and their customers, as well as for Noble and its shareholders."

During the second quarter, Noble also launched four new laser welding programs comprising 12 applications. Three of the four new programs were launched by Noble's new facilities in Adelaide, Australia, and Stow, Ohio. All of the newly launched programs are included in the company's financial guidance for 2006.

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