Delphi Automotive Systems and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen SA have announced a joint venture to develop new technology.
They will combine efforts to develop products in such areas as active and passive safety, comfort and onboard energy management.
'This is a first in the industry, but PSA also wants to do it with other suppliers,' said Jean Cazade, chief executive of Delphi France.
Delphi often develops technology with carmakers, but it has never operated under a formal agreement.
As a result, Delphi often spends six to 12 months working out cooperative agreements with its customers on a case-by-case basis.
Those agreements typically include issues such as confidentiality, exclusivity and intellectual property, Cazade said. The agreement with PSA defines what will be included in any development agreement.
Delphi Automotive President J.T. Battenberg III said the automotive industry should support electronic and system standards that are more open.
'We all need each other to put breakthrough technologies in our customers' vehicles as integrated systems,' he said. 'If the standards are not common and closed, the technologies will remain prohibitively expensive and out of consumers' reach.'
The agreement was signed at the Frankfurt auto show by Battenberg, Delphi Europe President Jose Maria Alapont, and Robert Peugeot and Jean Wolff, respectively PSA's executive vice presidents for innovation and engineering.
In other news, Delphi has been awarded a four-year contract to supply M-class cockpits for the Steyr-Daimler-Puch plant in Graz, Austria. The modules will be produced in Alabama near DaimlerChrysler's M-class factory. Delphi already supplies 300 cockpit modules a day for the sport-utilities built in Vance, Ala.
The contract is expected to generate more than $28 million in sales. Austrian orders for the modules are sent to Delphi six weeks before final assembly, compared with the two-hour gap needed for the M-class operation in Vance.