Delphi Corp. could eliminate up to 30 percent of its 2,200 U.S. parts suppliers as CEO Steve Miller sells and closes plants during Chapter 11 reorganization.
But Miller told Automotive News late last month that many, if not most, of those suppliers should expect business as usual because they likely will continue to supply the companies that buy Delphi operations.
"The fact that I shrink makes no difference to the requirement of the Tier 2 supply community," Miller said. "They'll just be routing what they do through whoever's name is on the door of the activity that is supplying the carmakers."
Others aren't so optimistic. Delphi's U.S. supply base probably will fall to 1,800 companies by the time Delphi emerges from Chapter 11 protection in 2007, says James McTevia, managing member of consultant McTevia & Associates of Bingham Farms, Mich.
And as Delphi sells and closes operations, the number could shrink by half, McTevia said. "There's going to be turmoil," he said.
Delphi's supply base is intensely important to the auto industry. The company supplies about $14 billion annually in parts just to former parent General Motors -- about 16 percent of the automaker's $86 billion annual global parts purchases. GM spun off Delphi in 1999.