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Milwaukee Wire Products Changes Name to Charter Automotive and Opens New Facility in China

September 15, 2008

Milwaukee Wire Products, a leading direct supplier of engineered components and assemblies to the automotive industry, has changed its name to Charter Automotive to better communicate its commitment to global automotive customers and its ability to leverage the value of its integrated supply chain. Charter Automotive is a division of Charter Manufacturing Company, Inc., a privately owned U.S. producer of carbon, alloy and stainless steel bar, rod, wire, shaped wire products, and engineered components, headquartered in Mequon, WI.

"The new name signals our continuing international expansion and our continued commitment to automotive customers throughout the world," said John A. Mellowes, Chairman and CEO of Charter Manufacturing Company. "Although Charter Automotive is a new name, the company will continue its commitment to excellence in serving customers that has been a hallmark for the past 60 years." The new name reflects the company's focus in the automotive industry, which has been its core business since it began in 1948 as a manufacturer of parts for Chrysler Corporation. The company now has direct supply relationships with most global automakers.

In recent years, Charter Automotive has steadily expanded its global operations. In February 2007, the company acquired Valve Train Components Limited, a manufacturer of highly engineered automotive powertrain components in Lichfield, England. To better support automotive powertrain customers in North America, Europe and Asia, the company has now opened a manufacturing, warehouse and distribution facility in China, to support the rapid expansion of that country's automotive industry.

"We are pleased to be able to better serve our customers throughout Asia with the opening of this new facility in China," said Mellowes. "The China facility will allow us to support the rapidly expanding Chinese automotive industry and the growing needs of our global customer base."

The new facility is located in Wuhu, Anhui Province, China. The new facility marks Charter's first formal expansion into that country.