GM seeks to sell British car seat plant

A car seating and upholstery plant near Nuneaton is up for sale as part of a disposal of three lines of business by General Motors’ automotive component giant Delphi. Fifteen sites, employing more than 11,000 people in eight countries, are up for sale. Product lines include coil springs, interior lighting and vehicle seating. Delphi Interior […]

A car seating and upholstery plant near Nuneaton is up for sale as part of a disposal of three lines of business by General Motors’ automotive component giant Delphi.

Fifteen sites, employing more than 11,000 people in eight countries, are up for sale. Product lines include coil springs, interior lighting and vehicle seating.

Delphi Interior Lighting Systems’ headrest and seat covers business in Nuneaton employs 306 people, and is the only British plant involved. It was built three years ago.

Sales last year – exclusively to Vauxhall – were valued at about £25m and the business is understood to be profitable.

Delphi bosses are also keen to sell the business to another seat manufacturing specialist. ‘In the UK, that really means Johnson Controls, Lear Corporation or a couple of other firms,’ said one industry source. ‘They would welcome the extra capacity at this relatively new plant.’

Funds raised from the global sale will be used to build up other areas of Delphi’s business.

‘Exploring other options for seating and lighting will allow us to concentrate our resources on growth business – cockpit, air bags and door modules,’ said Rodney O’Neal, vice-president and general manager of Delphi Interior and Lighting. O’Neal said that other companies with seating or lighting as core business may be able to better invest in these operations to grow the business.

In previous Delphi moves to ‘explore proposals from interested buyers’, only about 50% of the businesses put up for sale were eventually sold off.

If the offer prices were too low, the remainder were withdrawn from sale.