Delphi Automotive Systems (NYSE: DPH), with its recent diesel business acquisition, is uniquely positioned with a full line of diesel engine management systems to respond to the rising popularity of diesel engines worldwide.

To date, more than $2 billion has been booked over five years for the diesel common-rail direct-injection system, said Guy C. Hachey, president of Delphi Energy & Chassis Systems. Of that total, $800 million has been booked since Delphi acquired the diesel business in January, Hachey said.

Sales of Delphi's common-rail system are growing because it provides significant fuel economy benefits and is considered to be a major building block to bring the benefits of diesel engines to a wider base of consumers, said Dominique Chauvin, managing director of Delphi Energy & Chassis Systems Europe, which operates the diesel business.

"Contrary to diesel engines produced even a few years ago, today's are now powerful, smooth, quiet and clean," said Donald L. Runkle, Delphi executive vice president and president of the Dynamics & Propulsion sector. "The common rail system can increase efficiency and driving pleasure while increasing fuel economy."

In Europe, diesels already have about a third of the overall market. And gas prices climbed to more than $2 per gallon a month ago in the United States and have hovered between $4 and $5 ($1.06 and $1.30 per liter) in Europe, which make diesel engines a more popular choice.

Common-rail technology will improve the diesel engine's fuel economy by 30 to 35 percent over conventional gasoline engines and dramatically improve diesel emissions and noise, Runkle said.

Delphi is also developing an ion-sensing system for the closed-loop control of diesel combustion, Runkle explained. The closed-loop system will bring even further benefits to diesel emissions and noise when the vehicle is idling.

The technology also ensures performance stability throughout the vehicle's life.

Further exhaust particulate and NOx emission reductions will be possible with Delphi's comprehensive systems solutions for exhaust aftertreatment. For example, Delphi is developing a non-thermal plasma exhaust system that will allow diesel engines to meet stringent NOx emissions standards and reduce particulates and hydrocarbons.

"We are very excited about the potential for our revolutionary non-thermal plasma exhaust system with its huge reduction in emissions, particularly for NOx and particulates, which are the biggest challenges for diesel engines," Hachey said.

As a result of the acquisition of the diesel business in January, Delphi is now a global provider of diesel systems with 12 manufacturing facilities in seven countries. Delphi is the world's No. 2 producer of diesel fuel- injection systems for light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

Seven months later, Delphi is meeting the objectives that were set when the acquisition was first announced, Hachey said. Those initiatives include diversifying Delphi's customer base, improving its global footprint, boosting European sales, and strengthening Delphi's technology portfolio by adding entirely new high-growth diesel product lines. In addition, Delphi is on track to make the business accretive in the first full year of operation.

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.