Delphi Automotive Systems' (NYSE: DPH) reputation as the industry's leading supply-chain management provider has been further reinforced by earning the "Excellence in Logistics" award from Transportation & Distribution magazine for the second consecutive year.

The magazine's editors stated the company was once again successful in exceeding its customers' expectations, and Delphi's innovative problem- solving, "demonstrates the dynamic nature of its logistics department and serves as an example to others." The company was selected for its pioneering supply system that delivers fully assembled modular cockpits, just-in-time and sequenced-in-line, to Mercedes-Benz U.S. International's (MBUSI) assembly facilities in Graz, Austria, and Tuscaloosa, Ala. The cockpits are installed into the M-Class all-activity vehicles.

The Excellence in Logistics Award ceremony will be held in conjunction with the Supply Chain Expo 2000, June 13-15 in Chicago. Delphi was among five winners of the award, which for the 10th year honors companies for best practices in logistics. Transportation & Distribution is published in Cleveland by Penton Media, Inc.

Chris Duda, Delphi customer manager, MBUSI, and Ed Manusakis, manager, production control and logistics, Tuscaloosa Service Center, will accept the award on Delphi's behalf.

"It was quite an honor to be recognized last year for our efforts in supply-chain management by our peers in production control and logistics," Manusakis said. "To be honored again this year for expanding and enhancing our systems, while managing our supply chain at world-class inventory levels, is a tribute to a dedicated Delphi team."

Delphi's Tuscaloosa Service Center began supplying completely assembled cockpit modules to MBUSI in January 1997 and increased its production to supply MBUSI in Graz, Austria, in 1999. Delphi orchestrates complex logistics to make more than 60 just-in-time deliveries between two locations, on two continents, every day.

"We receive an electronic order every 2.8 minutes, and then manufacture and deliver the specific modular cockpit to the customer in Tuscaloosa in 120 minutes from the point of order to installation, sequenced-in-line and just- in-time," Duda said. "With the additional volume for Graz, Austria, we have been manufacturing cockpits in Tuscaloosa for vehicles that will be assembled at the Steyr-Daimler-Puch facility 5,000 miles away, deliver the modules just- in-time, sequenced-in-line, six weeks after receiving the order."

Manusakis said Delphi's long-term and short-term ordering system and a first-in, first-out material supply philosophy helps to maintain the world- class inventory level. Delphi's Tuscaloosa Service Center's inventory turn rate in 1999 was 66.8, exceeding the world-class level, generally considered to be 25 to 30 inventory turns.

"We have a very lean system in place," Duda said. "We wouldn't be the global benchmark for modular assembly if we did not have a 60-member supplier base that understands and performs to our delivery and quality requirements for components," Duda said.

A cockpit module is comprised of the cross-car beam, steering column, passenger-side air bag, heating/ventilating/air conditioning unit, wiring harness, upper and lower instrument panels, gage cluster, electronic switches and trim bezel. Delphi assembles a cockpit from 249 components into 15,000 possible combinations.

Multi-national Delphi Automotive Systems, with headquarters in Troy, Mich., USA, Paris, Tokyo and Sao Paulo, Brazil, is a world leader in transportation and mobile electronics 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 213,000 employees and operates 176 wholly owned manufacturing sites, 41 joint ventures, 53 customer centers and sales offices and 30 technical centers in 38 countries. Delphi can be found on the Internet at www.delphiauto.com