IfCorp. files for bankruptcy, its customers will see no interruption in the delivery of parts worldwide, and the proceedings will have no impact on the supplier's operations outside the U.S., the company's new chairman and CEO says.
Robert “Steve” Miller uses a speech at the Frankfurt auto show — as well as private meetings with customers — to assuage concerns about the viability of the world's No.1 supplier.
“Ifwere to choose Chapter 11, it will be business as usual, in Europe, in the rest of the world, even in the U.S., while we adjust our labor costs,” Miller says of Delphi's costly U.S. wage structure.
And in an unusual turn, Miller berates fellow auto supplier Collins & Aikman Corp. for poorly handling its own bankruptcy case, which began May 17.
“They were an embarrassment to our whole industry, not because they had to file Chapter 11 but because of the way they did it,” Miller says. “We are facing our problem realistically while we are still strong,” he says. “Collins & Aikman was in denial about their problems until they went off the cliff.”
Miller says he singled out C&A because many customers fear a Delphi bankruptcy filing would follow C&A's path. Without identifying individuals, Miller lambastes those in charge of C&A at the time of the filing.
David Stockman, C&A's former chairman and CEO, was forced out by the company's board of directors May 12. Former Federal-Mogul Corp. CEO Frank Macher was hired in July as CEO of C&A.
Miller describes Macher as a personal friend and says he is confident in Macher's ability to provide leadership for the Troy, MI, interior supplier.
Miller says in previous positions he led both Federal-Mogul and Bethlehem Steel “through extremely difficult reorganizations and never missed a shipment.” Miller, however, left Federal-Mogul before leading the supplier out of bankruptcy.