DETROIT - Delphi Automotive Systems Corp. has won a major contract to supply the cockpit for General Motors' next-generation mid-sized cars.
Delphi will produce instrument panels and coordinate the supply of all other cockpit components for GM's Epsilon car program, which includes the next Chevrolet Malibu, Pontiac Grand Am, Oldsmobile Alero, Saturn LS and Opel Vectra.
The Epsilon lineup is expected to generate annual production of 600,000 cars.
Spokesmen for Delphi and GM declined comment. However, four sources familiar with the bid confirmed the program, with production to begin in 2003.
The deal comes at a time when Delphi is preparing for its spinoff from GM, its corporate parent. Delphi is eager to demonstrate its ability to design entire cockpits, and GM wants to make sure Delphi succeeds.
This summer, GM must negotiate a new labor contract with the UAW, which is worried about Delphi's viability as an independent supplier.
The Epsilon contract could be worth more than $100 million annually to Delphi, which is based in Troy, Mich.
Delphi will gain about $200 of content per vehicle by supplying the Epsilon's instrument panel. The company also will oversee the assembly of an additional $1,000 per vehicle of wiring harnesses, heaters, gauges and other components from other suppliers. Each completed instrument panel will be shipped to a GM assembly plant and bolted into the car.
Delphi edged out Textron Automotive Co. and VDO North America, an affiliate of Mannesman VDO AG of Germany.
The Epsilon competition was costly for Textron and Mannesman. Each spent eight months preparing design, engineering and prototyping as part of its bid package. Spokesmen for both companies declined comment.