Delphi Automotive Systems will invest some $63 million in its Delco Electronics Systems Div. to introduce new technology in custom automotive integrated circuits for use in Delphi products.

The decision to invest in the Kokomo, IN, operations comes on the heels of Delphi's recent agreement with UAW Local 292. The agreement paved the way for the operational changes necessary to support the new integrated circuit manufacturing facility, Delphi says.

The investment, expected to enhance Delphi's industry position, also will allow the newly independent supplier to maintain in-house capabilities for a key enabling technology used in many of its future products.

Ward's Supplier Index
2/11/'99 % Chg.
Prev. Week
% Chg.
Yr. to Date
Ward's Index 120.3 0.2 -2.1
DaimlerChrysler 95.4 -3.5 -11.5
Ford 60.1 3.4 -2.6
GM 85.8 -1.5 10.6
S&P 500 1,254.04 0.4 -1.2
Note: This index is a weighted average with a 100-point base figured from 1/2/97. For details see Ward's Automotive Reports, Jun., 18 '99, insert.
Source: Ward's/Roney Capital Markets.

In other supplier news: TRW Inc. commences a tender offer at roughly $47.35 per share in cash to acquire LucasVarity plc. The offer expires March 9. Federal-Mogul Corp., which originally put LucasVarity in play, says it is withdrawing interest acquiring the company. Ballard Power Systems secures a $2.1 million contract (US$1.4 million) from Honda R&D Co. Ltd. of Saitama, Japan, to supply Ballard Fuel Cells, related equipment and support services. Collins & Aikman Corp. announces plans for a reorganization that will create two divisions from the company's global automotive carpet, acoustics, plastics and accessory mats businesses. About 500 employees will be affected by the plan, projected to turn cash flow positive by the end of the year. Dana Corp.'s board of directors promotes Joseph Magliochetti to president and chief executive effective immediately. Southwood J. Morcott will continue as Dana's chairman of the board, the supplier says.

The Ward's Supplier Index held steady for the period ending Feb. 11. The Index has been stable to improving for several weeks but remains off 2.1% for the year. Losers led gainers 41-22 last week with two companies unchanged. AlliedSignal Inc. continues to ride the upswing from a positive dividend announcement earlier in the month. The worst performing stocks are no strangers to the territory as Breed Technologies Corp. and JPE Inc. turned in bad weeks.