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Delphi Shows Automated Driving System with SF-to-NYC Trek

Supplier sends Audi Q5 on cross-country trip.

by on Mar.16, 2015

Delphi is demonstrating the capability of its automated driving system by driving an Audi Q5 from San Francisco to New York City.

Delphi, the giant automotive supplier, plans to show off the growing sophistication of its automated driving system by taking a specially equipped Audi Q5 on a 3,500-mile cross country journey starting at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and winding up in New York City.

Jeff Owens, Delphi’s chief technology officer, said the long journey will allow Delphi engineers to gather critical data and further advance the company’s active safety technology development in this rapidly growing segment of the auto industry. The car will also have an engineer/observer in the driver’s seat but they won’t operate the car.

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“Delphi had great success testing its car in California and on the streets of Las Vegas,” Owens said. “Now it’s time to put our vehicle to the ultimate test by broadening the range of driving conditions. This drive will help us collect invaluable data in our quest to deliver the best automotive grade technologies on the market.” (more…)

Sen. McCaskill Blasts GM’s Top Attorney; Calls Millikin Incompetent

Blumenthal believes Justice Department will find a “cover up.”

by on Jul.17, 2014

General Motors CEO Mary Barra testifies before a Senate Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety & Insurance.

After praising GM CEO Mary Barra in her opening remarks, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) later took her to task for not firing the automaker’s top lawyer, Michael Millikin, during a senate hearing today.

McCaskill, who chairs the senate subcommittee holding the hearing, blasted Millikin calling him incompetent, then asked Barra why she didn’t fire him.

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She also questioned why Millikin didn’t inform the automaker’s board or the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about possible punitive damages related to GM’s settling of previous cases. (more…)

Senate Investigates Delphi’s Role in Ignition Switch Recall

CEO Rodney O’Neal gets a list of questions to answer.

by on Apr.16, 2014

Delphi CEO Rodney O'Neal has been given a list of questions from four U.S. Senators asking about the supplier's role in producing the faulty ignition switches for GM.

Like it or not, General Motors’ bitter fight with its principal supplier, Delphi Corp., will be examined by a panel of U.S. Senators concerned about what role the supplier might have played in the faulty switches tied to a recall of more than 2.6 million GM vehicles and 13 deaths.

In a letter made public this week, four different senators have asked Delphi Chief Executive Rodney O’Neal on Tuesday a series of questions about the auto supplier’s production of ignition switches.

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The switches were made in a Delphi plant in Matamoros, Mexico, at a time when GM and Delphi were at loggerheads over the cost of components. GM spun off Delphi in 1999 and immediately demanded price downs from Delphi executives, who resented and resisted GM’s push for concessions. (more…)

GM-Delphi’s Tumultuous History Plays Role in Switch Problem

Cutting costs at expense of quality common impacted ignition.

by on Apr.03, 2014

GM CEO Mary Barra told a Senate subcommittee yesterday that in the past that GM's focus was wrongly on cost instead of customers. The relationship between GM and Delphi was a prime example.

Lawyers and Congressmen looking for the answer to why General Motors decided not to fix the ignition switch that has now been implicated in at least 13 deaths may want to look more closely at the tangled history of GM’s spinoff of the Delphi Corp., the supplier of the defective switch.

In her congressional testimony, GM CEO Mary Barra said the company’s old culture emphasized cost cutting and cost containment over customer service and promised that was now changing.

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The critical Delphi-GM relationship was at epicenter of the cost-containment strategy pursued by GM’s senior management after the company ran into financial difficulties, which led to the removal of then-Chairman Robert Stempel. The physical separation of Delphi and GM was being carried out even as the switch was being designed for cars then on GM’s drawing board. (more…)

Former Delphi CEO Battenberg’s Trial Wrapping Up

Prosecutors claim exec misled investors before Delphi bankruptcy.

by on Jan.06, 2011

Did former Delphi Chief J.T. Battenberg - shown here at a 2003 conference - mislead investors?

Did the former chief executive of mega-supplier Delphi intentionally mislead investors even as the company was spiraling down towards bankruptcy? That’s the key question as the long federal trial of J.T.Battenberg former Delphi chairman and CEO wraps up, with both defense attorneys and prosecutors laying out their final arguments.

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s civil complaint against Battenberg charges that the former Delphi executive – who retired as the company collapsed — set out to hide Delphi’s financial woes.

Battenberg faces no jail time but could be barred from serving on the board of any publicly traded company — and be forced to pay substantial fines.  It also would serve as a severe rebuke to an executive who was considered one of Detroit’s major corporate stars during the 1980s and 1990s.

The SEC’s prosecutors have hammered on the idea that Battenberg deliberately deceived outside investors about the handling of an item in the company financial filings in the years before Delphi filed for bankruptcy in 2005. (The company only emerged from Chapter 11 protection last year, marking the longest corporate bankruptcy in U.S. history.)


GM Makes New Investment in Battery Car Production

Delphi invests in new wireless recharging system.

by on Sep.30, 2010

While GM expands production of EV component, Delphi is looking at a new wireless charging system.

With federal help, General Motors Corp. is sinking an additional $23.5 million into production of components for electric vehicles at a factory near Baltimore, Maryland, where it will produce motors for future battery cars.

The new investment follows GM’s earlier commitment of $246 million to the Baltimore plant back in January. The investments create new jobs at the plant, according to GM officials, which has been under pressure to create more jobs at the company’s U.S. operations in return for the federal bailout that kept it alive.

Meanwhile, GM’s former parts arm, Delphi Corp. is pushing into the nascent EV market with a new partnership aimed at developing wireless charging technology.

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“This will allow us to strengthen our core electrification components expertise,” said GM Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones, about the maker’s latest Baltimore investment. “We’ll have more to say about specific products later.”


Delphi Opens Up With New Infotainment System

Open architecture strategy lifts limits on upgrades.

by on Sep.10, 2010

Delphi makes a big score with the new Audi A1.

Auto industry officials often talk about adopting Silicon Valley’s rapid pace of innovation, and nowhere is that more critical than in the growing world of onboard electronics.

Consumer electronics companies measure product lifecycles in months, not years, and open architecture software is a key reason this is possible.  Traditionally, automakers have stuck with proprietary technologies which may have to be completely rewritten or redesigned from one model to the next.

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But Delphi Corp., the big supplier that has largely shifted from old-style parts to high-tech electronics, is racking up a big score as it begins to supply a new open-source infotainment system to Audi for the German maker’s new luxury minicar, the A1.


Delphi Plans “Furious Execution” of Plans

After four years in Chapter 11, partsmaker aims for gains.

by on Jan.13, 2010

"Furious execution" needed for Delphi to ensure success.

After what seems to be a record-long trip through the bankruptcy process, Delphi is back in business and hoping to take advantage of what appears to be a resurgent global auto industry, its CEO declared Wednesday.

But it’s a very different Delphi from the one that went into Chapter 11, stressed the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer Rodney O’Neal.

It has abandoned most of its old-line businesses in order to focus on high-tech lines in the safety, environmental and connectivity fields, while slashing its worldwide workforce in half.  And the restructuring isn’t completely over, O’Neal promised.

But that’s in line with what faces the entire auto industry, he noted during a speech at the Automotive News World Congress and during a subsequent interview.  “We’re not through,” even if 2010 looks better than last year.

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The industry, he warned, is still “too bloated.  We need to lose weight.”  Despite the fact that General Motors and Chrysler abandoned dozens of assembly plants and component facilities as part of their own bankruptcies, O’Neal pointed out that global automotive production capacity is still around 86 million, even through sales, last year, were closer to 50 million.


Delphi Finally Out of Bankruptcy – But Now What?

Giant supplier hopes to rebuild but obstacles remain.

by on Oct.06, 2009

Despite a successful record as a turnaround specialist, it's taken Delphi Corp. CEO Steve Miller four years to get the auto parts company out of Chapter 11.

Despite a successful record as a turnaround specialist, it's taken Delphi Corp. CEO Steve Miller four years to get the auto parts company out of Chapter 11.

When both General Motors and Chrysler blasted through the courts in mere weeks, it might have seen like the bankruptcy process was being completely transformed to help the auto industry rebuild.

But if so, somebody forgot to alert Delphi Corp., the giant supplier and former partsmaking arm of GM that is today wrapping up its court-protected reorganization – but only after a grueling process that has dragged on for almost four years to the day.

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Plenty has changed since Delphi first filed for Chapter 11.  The company has closed or sold off an assortment of operations, giving the heave-ho to thousands of workers, while most of those still on the payroll will be making significantly less than they did before.