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For Immediate Release December 13, 2006

Contact: Kathy Brysse

mediaeurope@gates.com

eXponentiaTM takes new partner on board

The eXponentia partnership has announced the participation of a fifth partner into the alliance.  Gates, a world-leading developer and manufacturer of automotive belts and kits, will support the alliance in improving its position as a market-leading service provider for European technicians.

Gates is joining the founding partners of the alliance – SKF, Tenneco, TRW and Valeo – each with a long involvement in the automotive industry.  All eXponentia partners are dedicated to help the garage technicians to keep abreast of the changing and ever more complex technologies found in vehicles today.  The partnership started 5 years ago and is developing more and more technical services to the European automotive aftermarket, in the UK, France, Italy and Poland.

The market is constantly evolving with new technologies and customers needs.  eXponentia addresses this need by providing technical information and expertise directly from the source, i.e. OE component suppliers.  Each partner has collated their technical knowledge and know-how in order to develop Technical Training Modules offering high quality education by sector professionals.  In addition, eXponentia has a Technical Helpline where technicians can have instant solutions to real problems allowing them to save time and improve their customer satisfaction.  Also at the disposal of the subscriber is the eXponentia Knowledge Centre, a substantial technical information database with monthly bulletins and easy access via the website www.exponentia.org.  With this flexible and user-friendly tool the technician can stay up to date and continually educated.  “With our new partner Gates, eXponentia is able to provide an even wider offer of specialized knowledge, to accompany and enhance the technical expertise of our customers' customers, vehicle repair specialists,” comments Robert de La Serve, Director of Valeo Service.  Hari Nair, Managing Director, Europe, South America and India of Tenneco Inc. adds: “We are delighted about the addition of Gates to our existing partnership.  This will further strengthen the eXponentia training offering, providing installers with the tools necessary to succeed in offering their customers increased levels of quality, service and reliability”.

All partners of the alliance strongly believe that in a rapidly evolving business like the automotive replacement industry only the best informed businesses will remain competitive in the market.  This was the reason the partnership was created and recently also extended with the participation of Gates. François Augnet, Vice President, TRW Automotive Aftermarket Europe and Asia Pacific: “Automotive technology is evolving at an incredible rate. For garages to remain competitive it is critical that they are up to date with the latest developments and how these will affect their daily job. The eXponentia initiative addresses exactly that – and now with Gates on board we can offer them even greater access to the latest technology developments.” “Indeed,” says Rutger Barrdahl, Director SKF Automotive aftermarket, “with Gates joining eXponentia we will be able to cover more training modules that in turn will enable garages to gain deeper knowledge across a wider range of technologies.  The Gates brand recognition will strengthen the eXponentia name.”

Gates, renown for its longstanding tradition of innovation in power transmission belts and kits, has entered the alliance because they as well believe that with combined strength one can do more than each one individually.  “Gates recognises that the availability of technical information and know-how is of critical importance to the technicians of the independent aftermarket.  We are therefore more than delighted to share our comprehensive expertise and support.  We are confident that the partnership with eXponentia will further reinforce this first class service, enabling the technicians to take on more business and secure their future in the highly competitive European automotive aftermarket,” says Giorgio Brusco, Vice President Gates Automotive Aftermarket Europe.