PARIS - Delphi has launched a new network of common-rail diesel service dealers.
Delphi's action follows the growing popularity of diesel-engine cars in Europe, said Bernhard Mrosek, managing director of Delphi Automotive Aftermarket.
The US supplier said it had appointed its first 75 common-rail diesel service dealers at the Equip Auto show here. Delphi expects its European network to grow to 400 by 2003.
The dealers will have diagnostic, removal and refit capabilities, said Mrosek. They will offer services to franchised dealers, independent garages and the general public.
Diesel-engine vehicles are expected account for 45 percent of new-car sales by 2005, compared with 35 percent now, Mrosek said. And by 2005, Delphi expects 70 percent of diesel-powered new cars to use common-rail systems.
'Delphi is now the world's second largest producer of diesel-injection systems [after Bosch],' Mrosek said. 'By 2005, there will be 2 million Delphi common-rail systems in use.'
Mrosek identified vehicle electronics as a long-term growth area.
'The electronic content of the European vehicle parc will rise to 40 percent of the vehicle's value by 2010,' he said. That is almost double current levels.
Mrosek expects Delphi's aftermarket portfolio of electronic products to grow at least twice the rate of traditional products over the next three years.
New products to be launched in the next year include injectors, cam sensors, ignition modules, airbag sensors and electronic control modules. Delphi will also launch an advanced antenna with the ability to receive signals via satellite.
Delphi will upgrade 30 percent to 40 percent of its existing distributors to become electronics specialists.
In January, Delphi will launch consumer-product electronics distribution for the aftermarket, including a range of monitors for overhead and wireless installations.