Delphi’s needs to agree a deal with General Motors and its major union by the third quarter of this year, executive chairman Steve Miller has said. A delay would make it difficult for the one time GM-owned supplier to emerge from bankruptcy.

Miller told a bankruptcy court yesterday that Delphi should be allowed to proceed with a $US3.4bn recapitalisation plan backed by top shareholder Appaloosa Management, according to Reuters.

Miller reportedly said that if the company gets started down its path then it can be hopeful of making progress in labour negotiations. The United Auto Worker (UAW) contract expires in September and he would like to reach an agreement with union before then. It would also need GM to reduce its costs within the same time frame, to win union support.

Delphi is pursuing court approval for the Appaloosa investment offer, after reviewing a rival offer worth US$4.7bn from hedge fund Highland Capital Management. The Highland offer has come very late in the bankruptcy process and GM and Delphi managers believe that Delphi would be able to emerge from bankruptcy this year if it works with Appaloosa.