3M and Graco Form Strategic Alliance

Friday, March 12, 2004 2:15 pm CST

Dateline:

ST. PAUL, Minn.

ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--3M Automotive Aftermarket Division and Graco Industrial/Automotive Equipment Division today announced they have formed an alliance to offer a new line of paint spray guns to the automotive aftermarket. 3M and Graco see the line as a natural complement to 3M's Paint Preparation System, which has revolutionized the way automotive repair professionals dispense and use paints.

The new line of co-branded paint guns spans three technologies - conventional air spray, Compliant and High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP) - and is a natural extension of 3M's Paint Preparation System.

Chuck Rescorla, Vice President of Manufacturing, Operations and Information Systems for Graco, said, "This new alliance leverages strengths in both companies. 3M is a major supplier to the automotive aftermarket industry, and its new Paint Preparation System is one of the most innovative products released in recent years. Graco is a global leader in the design and manufacture of paint spray equipment. Combined, 3M and Graco now supply a fully integrated system that is optimized to provide superior finish and user ergonomics for the automotive repair professional."

According to Bob MacDonald, vice president, 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division, "We have worked with painters from across the country to understand their needs in gun performance, and now we present to the market a paint gun truly designed by painters - for painters. Graco is a terrific partner for this alliance because of its strong position as a leading supplier of spray equipment to automotive manufacturers. Graco possesses the technical expertise to translate our customer needs into reality. The integration of our Paint Preparation System with a gun designed to optimize its use enables us to provide a complete painting solution to our valued customers."

The new spray guns will be available through 3M's existing paint preparation system marketing and distribution channels beginning second quarter 2004.

About Graco

Graco Inc. (NYSE:GGG) supplies technology and expertise for the management of fluids in both industrial and commercial applications. It designs, manufactures and markets systems and equipment to move, measure, control, dispense and spray fluid materials. A recognized leader in its specialties, Minneapolis-based Graco serves customers around the world in the manufacturing, processing, construction and maintenance industries.

About 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division

The 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division (NYSE:MMM) meets the needs of vehicle service and repair professionals for a wide variety of repair and maintenance needs. In body shops, 3M is best known for its industry-leading abrasives, tapes, paint finishing products, adhesives, sealants and plastic repair materials along with its worker safety and protection products. The Paint Preparation System from 3M is the company's latest major innovation in the painting process.

About 3M -- A Global, Diversified Technology Company

Every day, 3M people find new ways to make amazing things happen. Wherever they are, whatever they do, the company's customers know they can rely on 3M to help make their lives better. 3M's brands include icons such as Scotch, Post-it, Scotchgard, Thinsulate, Scotch-Brite, Filtrete, Command and Dyneon. Serving customers in more than 200 countries around the world, the company's 67,000 people use their expertise, technologies and global strength to lead in major markets including consumer and office; display and graphics; electronics and telecommunications; safety, security and protection services; health care; industrial and transportation. For more information, including the latest product and technology news, visit www.3M.com.

Scotch, Post-it, Scotchgard, Thinsulate, Scotch-Brite, Filtrete, Command and Dyneon are trademarks of 3M.

Contact:

3M, St. Paul
Ron Wenaas, 651-736-7918
or
Graco Inc., Minneapolis
Mick Lee, 612-623-6443

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