DETROIT - Delphi Automotive Systems Corp. has won a major contract to supply cockpits for the next generation of General Motors' mid-sized cars.
Delphi will produce instrument panels and coordinate the supply of all other cockpit components for GM's Epsilon car program, which includes the next Opel Vectra, Chevrolet Malibu, Pontiac Grand Am, Oldsmobile Alero and Saturn LS.
The Epsilon lineup is expected to generate annual production of 600,000 cars worldwide.
Spokesmen for Delphi and GM declined to comment. However, four sources familiar with the bid confirmed the program, with production to begin in 2003.
The deal comes at a time when Delphi is preparing to spin off from GM, its corporate parent. Delphi is eager to demonstrate an ability to design entire cockpits, and GM wants to make sure Delphi succeeds.
This summer, GM must negotiate a new labor contract with the UAW, which is worried about Delphi's viability as an independent supplier.
The Epsilon contract could be worth more than $100 million annually to Delphi, according to sources.
Delphi will gain about $200 of content per vehicle by supplying the Epsilon's instrument panel. The company will also oversee the assembly of an additional $1,000 per vehicle of wiring harnesses, heaters, gauges and components from other suppliers. Each completed instrument panel will be shipped to a GM assembly plant and bolted into the car.
Delphi edged out Textron Automotive Co. and VDO North America - an affiliate of Mannesmann VDO of Germany - to win the contract.
The Epsilon competition was costly for Textron and Mannesmann. Each spent eight months preparing design, engineering and prototyping as part of its bid package.