Delphi is to expand its current manufacturing capability in Suzhou, China. The company will invest $US40.5 million to build two new manufacturing modules for Delphi electronics & safety division to produce various electronic products in the Suzhou Industrial Park.

“China is one of the fastest growing markets in the world for vehicle manufacturers,” said division president Jeff Owens. “As our customers expand their market base in this region, it is imperative that our manufacturing footprint support their growth.”

Last year, Delphi remained the largest foreign-invested automotive supplier in China. The country is now the world’s fourth-largest automotive producer and moved into the No. 3 position for sales during the year. Calendar year 2003 consolidated revenue for Delphi China was $650 million, an approximately 50% year-over-year increase.

The new Delphi complex will be built in phases with one module going up first. Construction has started on the new facility with plans for completion by third quarter 2004. Manufacturing capability will cover the entire production process from circuit board assembly to packaging and testing.

Delphi electronics & safety established its first facility in Suzhou in1996. The current leased facility in Suzhou produces audio systems, body computers, powertrain controllers, security products and airbag controllers. In December, Delphi announced it is investing $50 million in a new R&D technical center in Shanghai.

Delphi operates 14 Chinese joint ventures and wholly owned foreign owned enterprises including the Suzhou project, eight technology transfer agreements plus a technical centre and a training centre and supplies nearly all of China’s OEMs.