Delphi Automotive Systems (NYSE: DPH - news) is expanding its presence in Poland with the inauguration of a major technology center here today.

Delphi's Technical Center Krakow (TCK) now gives Delphi a total of 31 technical centers in 11 countries, further strengthening the company's ability to support customers in Europe and to provide around-the-clock or "24/7" engineering worldwide.

Delphi TCK will ultimately become a global center of expertise for shock and strut modular systems, said Jose Maria Alapont, vice president of Delphi Automotive Systems Corporation and president of Delphi Europe. Using advanced design, development and test methodologies, Delphi engineers will develop high-performance components at TCK to provide a smoother, more comfortable ride to vehicle passengers.

"We developed the Delphi Technical Center Krakow to deliver our global capabilities on a global and regional scale," Alapont said. "With a stronger presence in Eastern Europe we are combining high technology and world-class research and development with high quality, lower cost manufacturing."

Delphi Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President J.T. Battenberg III joined Alapont, along with city and government officials and customer representatives, here today to celebrate the TCK inauguration.

DELPHI TCK - PEOPLE

Delphi TCK will employ more than 300 engineers, technicians, administrators and support personnel, many of whom are locally-educated. Edward Nowak, a native of Krakow, has been named the center's director.

"Krakow has long been considered a significant scientific and academic center," said Leszek Waliszewski, Delphi's customer director, Poland. "This is an opportunity to draw the automotive world's attention to the technical strengths of Polish engineering and manufacturing."

Delphi has already hired and trained 41 new engineers from area universities to support the center, Waliszewski said.

Within Poland, Delphi currently has 4,700 employees at five manufacturing plants, a customer service center and an accounting service center.

PRODUCTS, TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW

While the center's area of expertise will be component development, including struts and shock absorbers, Delphi TCK engineers will develop products representing all three of the company's business sectors (Dynamics & Propulsion; Safety, Thermal & Electrical Architecture; and Electronics & Mobile Communication).

Featured products include:

  • Shock & Strut Center of Expertise * Bussed Electrical Centers (BECs), Integrated BECs, Electrical
    Connectors, Wiring System Packaging, Power and Signal Distribution

  • Testing and Validation, Material Development * Delphi Door Systems & Interior Door Trim * Software Development for Mobile Multimedia and Body Electronics

    Delphi TCK engineering activity will include product design and development, benchmarking, testing, modeling and validation.

    In addition, the TCK will provide application engineering for regional customers for all products, as well as electronic support at customer sites for diesel engine electronics, gasoline and audio electronics, and engine and security electronics.

    DELPHI TCK - ADVANCED DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT AND TESTING

    Delphi TCK will feature the newest design, development and test methodologies.

    The technologies include the latest in math-based tools, such as finite element analysis, computer-aided design, parametric modeling, multi-physics analysis and virtual testing and validation methods.

    These capabilities will help TCK to design and develop the best technology products for its customers on every continent. TCK is linked electronically to other technical centers worldwide via data communications, video and telephone lines.

    This linkage to other Delphi technical centers worldwide is especially important in supporting global customers, said Edward Nowak.

    "Through our global link to other technical centers and through Web- enabled design and development tools, we can share intellectual resources and collaborate on global projects," Nowak said. "In the industry, this is called '24/7 engineering' and it means that at the end of the day Delphi Asia can hand a project off to Delphi Europe, which in turn can hand off the same project to Delphi United States. This allows Delphi to greatly reduce product development time."

    DELPHI TCK: FACILITY DEVELOPMENT AND LOCATION BACKGROUND

    Delphi TCK is adjacent to A4 Motorway, a highway that has served for centuries as a major link between Germany and Russia, and sits on nearly 14 hectares of previously undeveloped land within the site of a National Forest Preserve. The facility is comprised of a 6,000 sq.-meter lab and development and testing garage, 3,000 sq. meters of open office space, and more than 2,500 sq. meters in utility, support and common areas.

    To prepare the site, Delphi together with the city of Krakow ran underground power lines, connected to the municipal water supply, ran telephone and data wide-area-network (WAN) lines, constructed a new access road, reconstructed storm drainage ditches and is working on a new sewage treatment plant. Plans are in development for Phase II of the TCK, which will nearly double the facility's size.

    With its untouched, ancient beauty, Krakow is on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) World Heritage List of significant world cultural and national heritage properties. Formerly the Polish capital, Krakow has thousands of monuments, more than 50 museums and 15 institutions of higher learning. Of Krakow's 800,000 citizens, 100,000 are students. More than 30,000 of these students are future engineers.

    TCK is part of Delphi's European Technical Center Quality Organization and follows Delphi's strict model for internal quality controls. TCK will be both QS-9000 and ISO 14001 certified in late 2000.

    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 179 wholly owned manufacturing sites, 41 joint ventures, 53 customer centers and sales offices and 31 technical centers in 39 countries. Delphi can be found on the Internet at www.delphiauto.com