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October 24, 2000

Alcoa Announces Plan to Build Wheel Plant

Joetsu City, Niigata Prefecture, Japan--October 24, 2000-- Alcoa announced that construction has started on a new forged aluminum commercial vehicle wheel plant located in Joetsu City, Niigata Prefecture, Japan. The plant is expected to be operational by third quarter 2001 and will be part of Alcoa Wheel Products Japan Ltd.

The new plant will produce polished aluminum wheels for the Japanese commercial vehicle market. The plant is being constructed in response to increased demand for Alcoa truck and bus wheels in Japan and will provide improved supply reliability and high-quality aluminum wheels to customers. Total employment at full capacity, which is expected to be reached in late 2002, will be approximately 90 people.

Joetsu City was chosen, in part, because it is the first city in Japan registered by ISO 14000, the environmental defacto-standard. The wheel plant will be located at the Joetsu Techno Center, which is owned by Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. Michael P. Swain, has been named president of Alcoa Wheel Products Japan Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo. He was formerly vice president of sales and marketing, Alcoa Wheel Products, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

"The manufacturing approach used at the new facility will be the Alcoa Business System, which is modeled after the Toyota Production System," said Swain. "Alcoa has adopted this system worldwide to increase our reliability and responsiveness to our customers."

Alcoa Wheel Products Japan, Ltd. also plans to expand its sales and technical service staff in Tokyo to help support the anticipated demand for bright, polished Alcoa truck and bus wheels.

By offering its lightweight forged aluminum wheels to the region's commercial truck and bus industry, Alcoa will help customers meet recent Japanese government and industry initiatives aimed at reducing the weight of commercial vehicles. Alcoa wheels are tough, durable, require no painting and very little maintenance, and provide an easy solution to vehicle weight reduction requirements, as well as a beautiful bright polished appearance for image enhancement.

Alcoa Wheel Products Japan Ltd. is part of the Alcoa Wheel and Forged Products business unit (BU) headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. The BU manufactures forged aluminum wheels for the heavy truck industry, forged and cast wheels for the automotive industry, and forged aluminum, titanium and nickel-based alloy parts for aerospace and industrial applications.

Alcoa Inc. is a producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina. It is active is all major segments of the industry, including mining, refining, smelting, fabricating and recycling. Alcoa has more than 300 locations in 36 countries. Revenues for 1999 were $16.3 billion.

Hideki Yamada
Director, General Manager of Sales & Marketing
Alcoa Japan Ltd.