By David Barkholz, Automotive News
Detroit, Michigan - Delphi Corp. posted dramatically improved earnings in its maligned US operations in March, while a steep falloff in overseas performance contributed to a wider net loss in the month compared with the year-ago period.
The giant parts supplier posted a global net loss of $63 million in March compared with a net loss of $56 million in March 2006. Sales in the month declined to $1510 million compared with $1750 million in the year-earlier period.
The monthly results, which are unaudited, are required as part of Delphi's Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganisation.
Delphi's US operations posted their best performance since the company put the operations into Chapter 11 protection in October 2005. Delphi posted a US operating loss of $11 million in March 2007, compared with a US operating loss of $93 million in the year-ago March.
The early retirement or buyout of more than 20 000 UAW workers in the past year has cut Delphi's operating costs. The workers hired to replace the retirees earn about $14 an hour with some benefits against $28 an hour and comprehensive pensions and benefits earned by veteran Delphi workers.
Delphi spokeswoman Claudia Piccinin declined to single out labour costs as a key factor. Instead, she said US operations have improved on a variety of measurements.
The company's overseas performance, however, slipped precipitously. Overseas, Delphi posted a net loss of $1 million in March 2007, compared with net income of $70 million in the year-ago period. Piccinin declined to comment on the decline because it is just a one-month snapshot rather than a quarterly snapshot that offers better analysis.
Delphi ranked No. 1 on the Automotive News list of top 150 original equipment suppliers to North America with original equipment sales of $16 900 million in 2006."