Delphi Automotive Systems Inc. says it will lay off 900 manufacturing workers in France, the U.K. and Poland and streamline operations in South America and at its headquarters in Troy, MI, in an effort to save more than $25 million annually.

Delphi plans to combine its regional and divisional staffs in South America, resulting in fewer U.S.-based employees. The company currently has 7,400 employees at 12 factories in the region.

Delphi also will trim administrative staff at its Troy, MI, headquarters by outsourcing non-core jobs and eliminating some positions. Delphi says the European job cuts are a result of manufacturing initiatives and changes in market conditions.

In other supplier news: Exide Corp. says it has agreed to a state government plan to remove lead from the soil of 19 homes near its production facilities in Muhlenburg Township, PA. Toyota Motor Corp., Toyota SA and Calater Corp. reportedly are forming a joint venture to produce 1 million exhaust catalysts per year in Japan beginning second-half 2000. Dana Corp. completes the earlier announced acquisition of Invensys plc's axle manufacturing and stamping operations. Johnson Controls Inc. is offering to pay $100 million to acquire 100% (about 91 million shares) of Ikeda Bussan Co. Ltd.'s outstanding stock. Both NHK Spring Co. Ltd. and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., which owns a 37.9% stake in Ikeda Bussan, reportedly have agreed to buyout offers from JCI. Canadian supplier Wescast Industries Inc. says it will supply cast exhaust manifolds for the 2.0L PL engine program for DaimlerChrysler Corp.'s Neon. Westcast will supply 280,000 pieces annually during the 3-year program worth $4.3 million in annualized revenue. TRW Inc. officially christens its 35,000-sq.-ft. chassis systems facility in Rayong, Thailand. The $2.6 million plant has been supplying General Motors Corp. for its locally built Zafira since May.

Ward's Supplier Index
7/13/'00 % Chg.
Prev. Week
% Chg.
Yr. to Date
Ward's Index 88.8 3.2 -22.3
DaimlerChrysler 53.4 0.6 -28.3
Ford 48.2 4.0 -5.3
GM 61.8 0.7 -13.7
S&P 500 1,495.84 2.7 6.6
Note: This index is a weighted average with a 100-point base figured from 1/2/97. For details see Ward's Automotive Reports, June 12, '00, insert.
Source: Ward's.

The Ward's Supplier Index climbed 3.2% for the week ending July 13, bettering the 2.7% rise in the Standard & Poor's 500. Of the 65 companies tracked, 17 lost ground while 48 gained.