Delphi gears up for UK assault

General Motors’ automotive components arm Delphi is set to expand UK manufacturing in an effort to quadruple its British business to nearly £1bn in five years. The wholesale shakeup of its UK operation could mean the closure of some plants. Delphi’s strategy is to switch from labour-intensive manufacturing and boost its high-value, high technology products, […]

General Motors’ automotive components arm Delphi is set to expand UK manufacturing in an effort to quadruple its British business to nearly £1bn in five years.

The wholesale shakeup of its UK operation could mean the closure of some plants.

Delphi’s strategy is to switch from labour-intensive manufacturing and boost its high-value, high technology products, including vehicle electronics.

It will also continue the development of just-in-time assembly and logistics plants co-located with car manufacturers – the so-called Sils concept developed with Opel/Vauxhall in Europe.

Paul Fleming, UK director, said: ‘Delphi cannot survive in the UK at its current size. Business with UK customers is out of proportion with what Delphi is globally.’

Delphi turns over £218m from its eight UK manufacturing operations, a high proportion of which comes from Vauxhall and Rover.

Growth looks set to come through an aggressive campaign to win new business with UK-based car makers. Delphi will use its global size to offer systems integration services which will see it bidding to supply completely assembled modular components to assembly lines.

Fleming said that transferring manufacturing capacity to factory-gates just-in-time operations could mean plant closures elsewhere in the UK.