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Delphi Launching Autonomous Fleet Test in Singapore

Project will supplement nation-state’s transit system.

by on Aug.01, 2016

The first of the Delphi autonomous prototypes will be a modified Audi SQ5.

Automotive mega-supplier Delphi is partnering up with the nation-state of Singapore to launch an ambitious autonomous vehicle test program meant to supplement the existing mass transit system.

The goal of the on-demand system is to make six battery-electric, self-driving cars available for rides on demand along three fixed routes to ferry people between their homes, offices and conventional mass transit stations. Backup “safety drivers” will remain behind the wheel initially, but by 2019 Delphi hopes to eliminate drivers – as well as back-up vehicles controls.

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The project “allows us to demonstrate we have the complete ecosystem of knowledge and capability in the vehicle,” explained Glen DeVos, vice president of the service business unit at Delphi, the one-time General Motors partsmaking unit now based in the U.K.


Delphi Readies for Next Step in Autonomous Vehicle Development

Supplier bringing latest advancements to CES 2016

by on Dec.14, 2015

Delphi is revealing updates to its autonomous vehicle at CES that allow drivers to control cabin temps or radio stations with eye movements or hand gestures.

It’s not enough for a car or crossover to drive itself anymore apparently as Delphi Automotive is working on the next step in autonomous vehicles that can be controlled at the bat of an eyelash.

Well, it’s not quite that simple, but Delphi is bringing its self-driving vehicle to CES 2016, the show formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas next month and it’ll be chock full of new abilities.

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The new functionality permits drivers to change the temperature inside the car as well as the radio stations with eye movements and hand gestures. In terms of what the “driver” sees, that person can create a customized three-dimensional instrument panel layout that can look like a 2016 Chevy Corvette or a ’60s era Ford Mustang. (more…)

Autonomous Prototypes Involved in Several Crashes

Accidents dubbed minor; self-driving vehicles not blamed.

by on May.11, 2015

Google has been using modified Lexus and Toyota vehicles for some of its early testing.

Four prototype autonomous vehicles been involved in accidents on California roads over the last eight months, three of them while undergoing testing by Google, considered a leader in the development of self-driving technology.

In two of the crashes, the vehicles were operating in fully autonomous mode, according to a report by the Associated Press. In the other two, the vehicles were being operated in manual mode, meaning a human driver had taken control.

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The AP reported that all of the crashes occurred at relatively low speeds – less than 10 mph. It was not reported whether there were any injuries or how serious the vehicles were damaged.


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…)

Delphi Back on the S&P List

Back in good graces after decade of turmoil.

by on Dec.24, 2012

Seven years after a bankruptcy filing launched what became a sweeping reorganization – and the longest corporate run through the Chapter 11 process in American business history — Delphi Automotive is final returning to the good graces of Wall Street.

The auto parts manufacturer Delphi Automotive (US:dlph) will replace Titanium Metals Corp. in the S&P 500 index, S&P Dow Jones Indices said in a statement Tuesday evening.

The change will take place after the close of trading on Dec. 21, when Precision Castparts Corp. is expected to complete its acquisition of Titanium Metals.

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Delphi, which assumed control of a substantial portion of General Motors’ in-house parts empire in 1999, filed for bankruptcy in 2008 as its struggled with an unwieldy cost structure built around traditional union contracts that had been undercut and rendered unsustainable by the rapid globalization of the auto industry.


Battenberg Hit With Hefty Fine for Delphi Scam

Misrepresented finances of failing auto supplier.

by on Nov.01, 2011

Former Delphi CEO J.T. Battenberg III has been hit with a hefty, $215,000 fine.

Former Delphi Corp. Chief Executive Officer J. T. Battenberg III must pay a $215,000 for violating U.S. securities laws by misrepresenting a $237 million payment to General Motors Corp.

U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn entered judgment against Battenberg and a $118,500 sanction against former top Delphi accountant Paul Free. A Detroit jury in January found the men misrepresented the GM payment and found Free committed wrong-doing in three other transactions in 2000 and 2001.

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The executives had been accused of trying to prop up the giant auto supplier’s stock even as Delphi slid steadily towards what would become the longest corporate bankruptcy reorganization in U.S. history.

“The remedies are for the court to decide,” Cohn said in separate memoranda explaining his rationale for each assessment.


Former Car Czar Will Testify About Abandoned Delphi Pensions

About 70,000 Delphi employees lost retirement plans under bankruptcy.

by on Jun.21, 2011

Former auto czar Ron Bloom will be facing some tough questioning on the GM bailout and Delphi bankruptcy.

Former White House “Car Czar” Ron Bloom will be one of those called to testify in what could be an angry Congressional session looking into the long-term impact of the General Motors bailout.

Among other things, lawmakers are expected to focus on the decision to abandon the pension program run by Delphi, GM’s former parts subsidiary.  Delphi, which underwent the longest corporate bankruptcy in U.S. history, walked away from a program that covered about 70,000 retirees.  Some have lost as much as 65% of their benefits.

Among others called to testify will be Vince Snowbarger, the deputy director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., the agency created to assume control of failed pension programs.  Delphi’s pension program was underfunded by $7 billion, and the PBGC will cover $6.1 billion of that – making it the second-largest failed pension program ever assumed by the agency.

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While Delphi did not receive a direct federal bailout, its survival – and eventual emergence from Chapter 11 – depended on its ongoing relationship with GM.  That was enough to bring it under the umbrella of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which will be holding a Wednesday hearing titled, “Lasting Implications of the General Motors Bailout.”


Delphi Files for IPO

Once-bankrupt supplier hoping to raise millions, possibly billions, through stock offering.

by on May.31, 2011

Delphi CEO Rodney O'Neal prepares to take the supplier public again.

Delphi Corp., which endured the longest corporate bankruptcy in U.S. history, has filed with the Securities Exchange Commission asking for permission to sell shares through an initial public offering that plays up the company’s potential for growth in China and other overseas markets.

Delphi filed for bankruptcy in 2005 in a bid to scrap what it described as an unsustainable business model that included a heavy reliance on its former parent, General Motors, and a large manufacturing base in the United States. The bankruptcy wiped up Delphi’s old shareholders and left the company’s salaried pension fund in the hands of the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp.

The Troy-based automotive supplier spent four years under Chapter 11 protection before emerging from bankruptcy in October 2009 with a much smaller manufacturing presence in the U.S. and a focus on supplying high-tech componentry, including safety equipment, fuel-management and electronics.

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The new Delphi is now counting on growth in the automotive market in the next few years to impress would be investors.

Global vehicle production is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.8% from 2010 to 2015. In the near-term, the mature markets, including North America and Western Europe, are expected to grow at 3.3%, from 2010 to 2015, for an increase of approximately 6.9 million units, while the emerging markets are forecast to grow at 10.3%, during the same period, for an increase of approximately 22.2 million units.


GM Selling Off Delphi Stake

Federal pension fund also selling off stake, leaving hedge funds in control.

by on Mar.31, 2011

Delphi CEO Rodney O'Neal.

Putting further distance between it and its one-time parts subsidiary, General Motors will sell off its stake in the massive automotive supplier Delphi.

The $3.8 billion deal will be paired with the sell-off of the stake in Delphi held by the federal Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp.  Both GM and the PBGC received their shares in the supplier following its emergence from bankruptcy protection in mid-2009.

Those moves will leave control of Delphi Automotive in the hands of the hedge funds that also took a stake in the supplier as it wrapped up what was the longest run through Chapter 11 in U.S. industrial history.

The decision to sell off its Delphi holdings comes just weeks after GM also generated $1.0 billion through the sale of its preferred holdings in Ally Financial, the lender once known as GMAC.  The Ally transaction will generate a one-time gain of $300 million, while GM will book a $1.6 billion profit from the sale of its Delphi shares.

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“We are systematically delivering on our commitment to strengthen and simplify our balance sheet,” said Dan Ammann, GM senior vice president and chief financial officer as of April 1.

Officially known as Class A Membership, GM took its stake in the supplier as part of the complex financial package that helped Delphi finally get back to business after it voluntarily plunged itself into bankruptcy in 2005.


Delphi’s Battenberg Cleared of Fraud but Guilty of Three Other Charges

Will pay substantial fines but serve no jail time.

by on Jan.13, 2011

Former Delphi Chief Battenberg found guilty on three charges, cleared on a fourth.

The long trial of former Delphi Chairman and Chief Executive Officer J.T. Battenberg ended with a jury clearing him of fraud – but he was still found him liable for misrepresentation and responsible for accounting errors involving a $237 million payment the supplier made to former parent General Motors.

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s civil complaint against Battenberg alleged that the former Delphi CEO had tried to hide the Dephi’s financial condition in order to improve its performance in the market.

Battenberg faced only civil, rather than criminal charges.  He nonetheless sought vindication via a jury trial but now faces a substantial fine and possibly other sanctions.

He faces no jail time but could be barred from serving on the board of any publicly traded company on top of those fines.  It was a serious rebuke to an executive who was considered one of Detroit’s major corporate stars during the 1980s and 1990s.