Delphi Corporation on Friday said that revenue from its China operations for 2002 topped $US700 million, up 35% compared with the previous year. This is the second consecutive year that Delphi China has reported an annual revenue increase of more than 30%.

"China continues to develop into a strong market for Delphi's technology solutions," said Delphi Asia Pacific president Choon T. Chon. "Demand has been driven primarily by stricter exhaust emission standards as well as pressure from foreign competition to diversify product offerings through leading technology, following China's entry into the WTO. China's strong economic performance last year (8% GDP growth) further fuelled the enthusiasm of consumers for owning cars. This has resulted in record sales of Delphi's advanced technologies."

Delphi China has maintained an average annual growth of 24% since the company's official entry into the Chinese market in 1994 -- making it the leading foreign invested component supplier in China.

"I expect Delphi's leading market position and positive growth trend to continue," said Delphi Corporation CEO J.T. Battenberg, "especially as we move to capitalise on the need for advanced electronically-controlled diesel engine management systems in the commercial vehicle sector, which is growing at a double digit rate. China has already become the world's sixth-largest automotive market and Delphi's market share will continue to grow as our content expands and as the volume of both privately-owned and commercial vehicles continues to rise."

At present, Delphi has established 13 legal entities in China involving a total investment of over $400 million. Eleven of these are manufacturing facilities producing more than 40 categories of products for Chinese vehicle makers and overseas customers. Delphi China holds several market leadership positions in China, including the largest wiring harness supplier, the largest catalytic converter supplier and the largest battery supplier in the automotive market. Delphi is also the only complete engine management system supplier in China with product offerings including air and fuel management components and exhaust after treatment all connected by electrical and electronic distribution and control systems.

Added Chon: "We view China as an integral part of our global operations. We exported products worth $147 million to major OEMs in Europe and North America. Meanwhile, Delphi China imported about $125 million and $35 million worth of components respectively from the US and Europe."