DETROIT -- Within a week, Delphi Corp. could take the North American auto industry into uncharted territory.
Delphi, the continent's largest parts supplier, threatens to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for its U.S. operations by Monday, Oct. 17, if it can't at least get assurances of a multibillion dollar bailout from General Motors and the UAW.
A Delphi bankruptcy filing would be the largest ever in the auto industry, dwarfing Federal-Mogul Corp.'s 2001 filing.
Delphi's U.S. operations alone generated sales of $11.18 billion last year. The company employs 185,000 people worldwide.
Delphi CEO Steve Miller says Delphi must undergo restructuring either in bankruptcy court or out.
Delphi's hourly wage of $65 an hour including benefits is uncompetitive, and a jobs bank that pays idled workers 95 percent of their wages is costing Delphi, in Troy, Mich., about $400 million this year.
The company posted net losses of $741 million during the first half of 2005.
The day of reckoning is near. Next Monday, bankruptcy laws change to make it tougher for companies to get extensions on reorganization plans and add compensation to keep executives. Miller says he needs to feel confident by then that he'll get a settlement or he will file.
The following are the top three reasons to expect a settlement and the top three pointing to a bankruptcy filing.