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ATS appoints business development executive for Spheral Solar(TM) Power

October 31, 2002 | General
TSE Symbol: ATA

CAMBRIDGE, ON, Oct. 31 /CNW/ - ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. today announced that Rick Robertson has joined its Spheral Solar(TM) Power Inc. (SSP) subsidiary as vice president of business development. In this important strategic role, Mr. Robertson will manage all aspects of business development, strategic marketing and sales for SSP, a future leader in photovoltaic
technology.

Milfred Hammerbacher, president of SSP said: "Rick brings a wealth of business development experience in the alternative energy industry to Spheral Solar(TM) and we believe he will be a very valuable asset as move aggressively along the road to commercializing our revolutionary technology. One of Rick's responsibilities will be to evaluate potential strategic partners for product development, system integration and distribution. Since our technology will create much broader applications for solar power -- everything from residential roofing to transit -- we believe the addition of a dedicated executive to oversee the formation of business-to-business alliances is critical at this early stage."

Mr. Robertson comes to SSP from General Electric's Power Systems business where he held numerous marketing and business development positions in GE Distributed Power and GE MicroGen. He joined GE in 1998 from fuel cell developer Plug Power, where he was manager of sales and marketing. Prior to joining Plug Power, Mr. Robertson was a senior associate with an energy and utility consulting firm. He received an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from RPI's Lally School of Management and Technology.

Pilot Line Now in Full Operation

Mr. Hammerbacher added the timing of this appointment is "ideal because our pilot line is now operating and this is giving us the initial solar cell samples we need to fuel not only product development initiatives but also our marketing efforts."

Plans to construct an initial 20 megawatt Spheral Solar(TM) manufacturing factory in Cambridge, Ontario are also moving forward, said Mr. Hammerbacher, "as is the launch of commercial production of Spheral Solar(TM) products before the end of calendar 2003."

About Spheral Solar Power
Spheral Solar Power Inc. (www.spheralsolar.com) is a subsidiary of ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. SSP is commercializing Spheral Solar (TM) Technology (SST), a revolutionary solar technology that offers substantial cost advantages and combines the high efficiency of traditional silicon technology with the flexibility and durability of thin film technology.

About ATS Automation Tooling Systems
ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (www.atsautomation.com) is the industry's leading designer and producer of turn-key automation manufacturing and test systems, which are used in a variety of industries including: automotive, computer/electronics, healthcare, and consumer products. The company also makes precision components, sub- and assemblies using its own customer-built manufacturing systems, process knowledge and automation technology. Through Photowatt International S.A., and Spheral Solar(TM) Power Inc., ATS is an emerging leader in the rapidly growing market for solar energy. ATS employs approximately 3,200 people at 26 facilities in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia. The company's shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ATA.

Certain forward looking statements are made in this news release, including statements regarding possible future business. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, continued acceptance of ATS's products, technologies, customer requirements and other risks detailed from time to time in ATS's periodic reports filed with Canadian regulatory authorities.

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For further information:
Ron Jutras, Chief Financial Officer
(519) 653 6500