Delphi Automotive Systems today announced its intent to purchase the Vehicle Switch/Electronics Division (VS/ED) of Eaton Corporation for $US300 million.

Delphi and Eaton expect to complete the transaction at the end of the first quarter.

Delphi estimates the value of the global automotive switch market is currently $US3.8 billion, and is forecasting the market to exceed $US7 billion by 2010.

Eaton's automotive switch sales totaled approximately $US320 million in 2000.

Primary customers of the VS/ED include DaimlerChrysler, Ford, General Motors, PSA, BMW, MG Rover and VW Group.

Eaton's VS/ED currently has its global and North American headquarters in Downer's Grove, Illinois, and European headquarters in Illkirch, France. The division also operates manufacturing facilities in Langenlonsheim, Germany; Barcelona, Spain; Gdansk, Poland; Matamoras, Mexico; and Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil.

The company has engineering facilities in Downer's Grove, Illkirch and Langenlonsheim and employs approximately 3,850 people worldwide.