Supporting Increased Electrical Content in New VehiclesMon, 09/01/2014 - 13:08
Q: How has Mexico developed as an investment and production destination for Delphi Automotive since 1978?
A: Delphi has been in Mexico for 36 years. We began with a plant and 500 employees in Ciudad Juarez in 1978 and we now have 45 manufacturing plants and more than 60,000 employees. Today, four of Delphi’s divisions are based in Mexico. Our Electronics & Safety division includes body and security, powertrain control modules, and safety and power electronics. Our Electrical Architecture division includes bussed electrical centers, harnesses, battery cables, and electrical connectors. Powertrain Systems covers smart remote actuators, fuel delivery modules, diesel fuel systems and valve train and ignition components. Finally, our Thermal Systems division incorporates HVAC modules, compressors, powertrain cooling condensers, and radiator fan modules.
Q: What role do continuous R&D initiatives play in allowing Delphi to provide innovative products, and how do you cooperate with OEM clients to produce tailored automotive solutions?
A: Delphi has a global footprint that is aligned with the growth plans of the leading vehicle makers that are our customers. Our service model is to work on a global scale with regional capabilities. Our 45 plants, three technical centers, and customer service offices in 22 cities support our business for North America. Mexico is also now our manufacturing center for the North American market.
Delphi supplies the top 25 OEMs in the world. Our top ten global customers are Daimler AG, Fiat Group Automobiles, S.P.A., Ford Motor Company, Geely Automobile Holdings Limited, General Motors, Hyundai Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Shanghai General Motors Company Ltd, Toyota Motor Corporation, and Volkswagen Group. Our relationship with these customers is focused on providing solutions for their problems. This means that we work very closely with them on a global scale with regional capabilities, so we can be a world-class supplier that is perfectly positioned in the local markets. Delphi invested approximately US$1.7 billion in engineering and research worldwide in 2013. We have 19,000 scientists and engineers and 15 major technology centers around the globe. We really can say that Delphi’s global team is at the center of technology innovation. In Mexico, Delphi has over 2,000 engineers and three technical centers in Ciudad Juarez, Saltillo, and Queretaro. The Mexico Technical Center (MTC) located in Juarez is the biggest that Delphi has worldwide, and it serves hundreds of customers from 25 different countries. Since its creation in 1995, the MTC has generated 316 patents, 1,069 records of inventions, 75 meritorious awards, and 17 trade secrets.
Q: What have been some recent key technological advances, and what role is Delphi playing in helping OEMs produce lighter, less energy-intensive vehicles?
A: We would like to highlight a game-changing technology that recently won a PACE Award, namely the Delphi’s ErgoMateTM Mechanical Assist System. As electrical content in vehicles has increased, so have the size of the connection systems, making them too large to be made by hand. Delphi’s ErgoMateTM Mechanical Assist System enables vehicle line operators to be more successful by mating the connectors with a single-handed action that requires no pre-positioning or awkward grip changes. This single, ergonomic mating action reduces assembly time, improves success with ‘blind mating’ of connectors, reduces mating force, and has a strong tactical feel to provide positive feedback to the operator. Additionally, the system helps to improve quality and performance by solving warranty issues of mismatched connections. Concerning Delphi’s role in helping OEMs produce more eco-friendly vehicles, we must highlight that this is one of the global trends that shape our entire portfolio. We are focused on developing innovative, safe, green, and connected products that consumers care about and demand. Some examples of safe products include active safety systems, driver state alerts, safety electronics, battery disconnects, human machine interface, and occupant classification systems. Our green product line includes gasoline direct injection, diesel fuel injection systems, fuel economy and performance technologies, next generation energy efficient AC, and hybrid and electric vehicle technologies. Finally, what we call our Connected Product line includes vehicle infrastructure interface (VII) and vehicle-to-vehicle interface systems, telematics, digital receivers, connected vehicle, and satellite, audio, video, and data systems.