COLUMBUS MCKINNON SUBSIDIARY WINS GENERAL MOTORS SUPPLIER OF THE

 Year Award  Automatic Systems, Inc., a Provider of Conveyor Systems, Recognized for 2nd                             Consecutive Year  AMHERST, N.Y., April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Columbus McKinnon Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCO) today announced that Automatic Systems, Inc. (ASI), a subsidiary of CMCO, has received a General Motors Worldwide Supplier of the Year award for the second consecutive year.  A designer and manufacturer of conveyor systems and material handing systems, ASI was one of only 184 companies worldwide recognized by General Motors (GM) as a supplier of the year from its 30,000 supplier companies.  In announcing the award, Harold R. Kutner, GM's vice president for Worldwide Purchasing and North American Production Controls and Logistics said, "GM's Suppliers of the Year represent the "best of the best", an honor accorded to those suppliers who have achieved world-class levels of quality, service, technology and price in support of General Motors. As a 1998 GM Supplier of the Year, we recognize Automatic Systems for their outstanding conveyor systems."  Columbus McKinnon President and Chief Executive Officer Timothy T.  Tevens commented, "Being named a supplier of the year for GM, the world's largest automobile manufacturer, for two years in a row, is both a great honor and a favorable indicator of the strength of ASI's relationship with a major customer.  Receiving this prestigious award again also demonstrates the exceptional quality of ASI's people and products. The addition of ASI to our company last year as part of our purchase of LICO was instrumental in establishing Columbus McKinnon as a leading provider of integrated material handling solutions."  Automatic Systems, Inc. ("ASI"), is a leading designer, manufacturer, and installer of technically advanced material handling systems including overhead and floor-mounted conveyors, electrified monorail systems, robotic indexing systems, and automatic body transfer systems primarily for the automotive industry.  Based in Kansas City, Missouri, ASI provides custom engineered systems by functioning either as a turnkey contractor or as a supplier working in conjunction with the customer's general contractor.  Columbus McKinnon is a broad-line designer, manufacturer and supplier of sophisticated material handling products and integrated material handling solutions that are widely distributed to industrial and consumer markets worldwide. Those items that reflect the highest sales of Columbus McKinnon's products segment are hoists, steel welded chain and attachments, and industrial components. Integrated material handling solutions are systems that are designed to meet specific applications of end users to increase productivity through material handling. Comprehensive information on Columbus McKinnon is available on its Web site at http://www.cmworks.com  CONTACT:  Robert L. Montgomery, Jr., Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Columbus McKinnon Corporation, 716-689-5405.    SOURCE  Columbus McKinnon Corporation /CONTACT:  Robert L. Montgomery, Jr., Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Columbus McKinnon Corporation, 716-689-5405/  /Web site:  http://www.cmworks.com/  (CMCO)  CO:  Columbus McKinnon Corporation; Automatic Systems, Inc. ST:  New York IN: SU: