FORD and e-STEEL Enter Into Multi-Year e-Commerce Agreement Automotive Leader to Use Leading Online Steel Exchange to e-Enable Major Web-based, Global Value Chain Purchasing Initiative Dearborn, Mich. , and New York, NY - Business Wire - May 17, 2000 - Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), and e-STEEL Corporation, the leading negotiation-based e-Commerce exchange for the global steel industry, today announced an initiative to e-enable complex procurement programs with the automaker's global Tier 1 suppliers. This relationship includes an equity incentive program that will earn the car maker a minority equity stake in e-STEEL. Ford selected e-STEEL (web) to provide the steel-specific knowledge and functionality required to rapidly launch a steel e-Commerce procurement system to maximize efficiency and operational savings.

Approximately 4-5 million tons of steel and steel-related products will be purchased via e-STEEL for metal stamping suppliers over the course of this contract. The scope of the alliance covers the automaker's steel order fulfillment processing, claims, financial controls, and audit reporting throughout its global manufacturing and assembly operations.' Ford Motor Company has confidence in e-STEEL's ability to deliver this Internet-based solution across its entire Tier 1 steel and metal stamping value chain, both in North America and Europe, within the next few months,' said Andrew Hinkly, Director, Raw Material Purchasing, Ford Motor Company.' We selected e-STEEL as our partner due to their expertise in steel procurement systems, their efficient e-business tools such as STEELDIRECTTM, and their existing broad coverage of our steel supply base,' added Hinkly. 'These inherent strengths, and their results-driven management team, will lead to a successful implementation of this program.' 'The mutual focus of the Ford / e -STEEL alliance is that value is job 1, 's aid e-STEEL Founder, Chairman, and CEO Michael S. Levin.

'Our ValueTrackTM process and speed-to-solutions approach will accelerate Ford and its suppliers' ability to realize substantial operational savings from this program. We are thrilled that Ford Motor Company, which is one of the most innovative global companies, selected e-STEEL for this important initiative.' TOP The automaker expects the members of its steel supply chain to realize cost benefits from efficiencies gained by participating in this program. Ford anticipates the volumes of steel transacted through the program to grow significantly during the next 12 months. At present, the Ford / e -STEEL alliance is limited in scope to this program for Ford's purchases, and the millions of tons of steel products a year. In addition to this alliance, e-STEEL recently announced that it also secured strong strategic alliances with three of Ford's major steel suppliers, and recent Ford World Excellence Award winners, U.

S. Steel, a subsidiary of US, Dofasco Inc. , and National Steel Corporation. e-STEEL also has strategic alliances with Is pat International and Worthington Steel. Currently, more than 2, 300 companies from 85 countries representing the key segments of the steel industry are members of e-STEEL.' Proving value to Ford, and to other global industry leaders throughout the steel value chain in our first eight months, is a tremendous achievement,' said Levin. 'This strategic initiative, which adds continuous volume and an important financial transaction processing backbone to our negotiation-based e-Commerce hub, is another major step forward for e-STEEL, and a significant endorsement of our 'Steel Commerce Solution' vision.'.