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Company selects Austin for its fourth plant worldwide

AUSTIN, TX, Oct. 1, 1996 -- Strong sales to business and government have led Dell Computer Corporation (NASDAQ: DELL) to open a second U.S. manufacturing facility in Austin, Dell and Austin officials announced today. The company plans to lease a 256,000 square-foot manufacturing facility under construction in North Austin and add more than 1,000 manufacturing jobs to its local payroll when the new facility is fully staffed.

Dell officials explained that continued strong growth in its Americas business underlies the company's decision to establish a second local manufacturing location. "We have been growing at more than twice the computer industry's average over the last five years," said Chairman and CEO Michael Dell, "and in the process we have outgrown the capacity of our Austin plant despite more than doubling production here since late 1993."

The company's Americas regional operation, which supports the U.S., Canada and Latin American markets, experienced 50 percent growth last year, driven in large measure by sales to Fortune 500 accounts and government. 1995 growth propelled Dell to the #2 position in desktop sales to corporate America, according to IDC, and boosted the company's position in Fortune Magazine's corporate rankings from #350 to #250 in 1996.

"We are very pleased to continue our local expansion, " said Mr. Dell. "The Austin area has been instrumental to Dell's success from our earliest days as a company. We have drawn heavily from the local employment base to staff our manufacturing, research and development and sales and technical support areas, and Austin's quality of life and international reputation have been a distinct asset in our national recruiting efforts."

"Dell Computer is a true homegrown success story and an ambassador for Austin throughout the world," Mayor Bruce Todd said. "Dell is a model corporate citizen for its investment in the local area. This expansion shows further commitment to Central Texas and its citizens."

Expansion Reflects Dell's Success At Direct Market Approach Speed to market and manufacturing efficiency are hallmarks of Dell's direct business model and a significant advantage in the dynamic PC business. Locating an additional manufacturing facility in Austin will give Dell the flexibility to efficiently augment its U.S. production while leveraging its existing procurement, research and development and engineering resources. The new plant will ultimately match the capacity of Dell's existing Austin facility and double the company's U.S. production capacity.

Dell's unique build-to-order manufacturing has several advantages over the build-to-inventory models used by indirect manufacturers. Build-to-order manufacturing lets Dell tailor systems to customer specifications and eliminates inventories of finished goods, letting Dell incorporate higher-performing, lower-cost components ahead of competitors. "At 14 days of inventory, Dell can lead indirect companies in significant product and component transitions by as much as three months," said Mr. Dell. In addition to its Austin manufacturing facility, Dell has a manufacturing plant in Penang, Malaysia, which opened last November to support its growing sales in the Asia Pacific region, and a plant in Limerick, Ireland, which it recently expanded to support its growing business in Europe. Earlier this month, Dell opened a 24,000 square- foot plant, adjacent to its existing Austin manufacturing facility, for its new line of network servers.

Company Continues Local Growth

Since 1993, Dell has increased its locally-owned and leased square footage by 60 percent and doubled its local employment. With approximately 6,000 local employees, Dell, the area's only locally-based Fortune 500 company, is now considered the Austin area's third largest private employer, according to the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. This most recent expansion increases the company's local lease holdings to 1.5 million square feet with some leases extending beyond the year 2000. The company also owns a 350-acre campus in Round Rock with 453,000 square-feet of completed office space for sales and technical support and an additional 387,000 near completion. Dell plans to consolidate some corporate and administrative functions at its Round Rock campus in the coming months to improve collaboration between business unit and corporate functions.

A Fortune 500® company, Dell Computer Corporation is the world's leading direct marketer of computer systems and one of the largest computer systems manufacturers in the world, based on revenues of $6.3 billion for the past four quarters. Dell designs and customizes products and services to end-user requirements, and offers an extensive selection of peripherals and software through the DellWare® program. Information on Dell and its products can be obtained through its toll- free number, 1-800-BUY-DELL (1-800-289-3355) or by accessing the Dell World Wide Web server at

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