LONDON - Delphi Automotive System's acquisition late last month of Lucas Diesel Systems puts the newly independent supplier well on course to meet its objectives of increasing non-GM and non-North American business.
Lucas Diesel supplies PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, Renault SA, Ford Motor Co. and Volvo Car in Europe, and has operations in Asia and North America. With 1998 sales of $1.1 billion, Lucas Diesel has 12 manufacturing locations in seven countries.
The acquisition from TRW Inc. for about $871 million in cash is Delphi's largest ever, and strengthens its position as the world's biggest supplier, with sales approaching $30 billion a year. The new unit will be called Delphi Diesel Systems.
Delphi has little expertise in diesels but can no longer ignore the field, particularly in Europe.
'If you look at the refinement and power of diesel engines now, they have immense potential for light trucks, even in regions where gasoline prices are not an issue,' Delphi Europe President Jose Maria Alapont said.