Having already played a key role in the introduction this year of the well-received Alfa Romeo 156 Sportwagon, Delphi Automotive Systems (NYSE:DPH) is now working with the automaker to launch its second new vehicle in 2000.

Delphi is assembling the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system for the new Alfa Romeo 147, which made its debut in early June at the Turin Motor Show. The 147, offered in three- and five-door hatchback versions, replaces Alfa's 145 and 146 models, and will feature air conditioning as standard equipment.

Delphi also supplies Alfa Romeo with other key technologies for the 147, including the steering pump, steering column and airbag control sensors. Total revenue generated from HVAC sales is expected to reach US $80 million for the life of this program, while the combined sales of all Delphi products on the 147 will approach US $130 million. Both figures are based on customer volume forecasts.

The 147's debut marks the continuation of a strong relationship Delphi has forged with Alfa Romeo, part of the Fiat Group. Delphi provides the HVAC module for the 156 Sportwagon and the 156 sedan, Europe's 1998 Car of the Year.

"Alfa Romeo has generated a great amount of excitement and momentum for its products in the European market, and there's no question the 147 will do the same," said F. Timothy Richards, Delphi Harrison Thermal Systems' Director of European Operations. "We're eager to help Alfa Romeo continue to build enthusiasm with its customers by providing advanced climate control solutions that fully enhance the driving experience."

Delphi has begun ramp-up activities to support the 147, which will be assembled at the Fiat Group's Pomigliano (Naples) Plant. It will go on sale later this year in the lower-medium segment, Europe's volume-leading and most competitive vehicle sales segment.

All of the 147's HVAC modules will be assembled at Delphi's operation in Molinella, Italy, in full compliance with the Delphi Manufacturing System. The Molinella site also assembles the technically identical HVAC modules in the 156 Sedan and Sportwagon, a system that earned Delphi the Fiat Qualitas Award in 1999.

The 147's HVAC system is similar to that award-winning technology, featuring fully automatic operation managed by electronic control. It is also assembled in dual zone configuration.

"Our employees in Molinella are truly focused on providing uncompromising excellence in quality, cost, service and technology," said Carlo Beccuti, Delphi customer director, Italy. "Motorists expect greater capabilities from their vehicles today, and Alfa Romeo's ability to give them that technology in a high-quality, high-value package has led to the marquee's undeniable resurgence in Europe. We're excited that our technology can be a part of that."

Multi-national Delphi Automotive Systems, with headquarters in Troy, Mich., USA, Paris, Tokyo and Sao Paulo, Brazil, is a world leader in mobile electronics and transportation components and systems technology. Delphi's three business sectors -- Dynamics & Propulsion; Safety, Thermal & Electrical Architecture; and Electronics & Mobile Communication -- provide comprehensive product solutions to complex customer needs. Delphi has approximately 216,000 employees and operates 183 wholly owned manufacturing sites, 44 joint ventures, 53 customer centers and sales offices and 31 technical centers in 40 countries. Delphi can be found on the Internet at www.delphiauto.com