Delphi Makes True Vehicle Cockpit Integration Possible with New Steel Hybrid Cross-Car Beam
Streamlined subsystem engineering produces below-the-surface performance benefits including optimized crashworthiness, side impact protection
March 20, 2006, TROY, Mich. -- For the first time, an automotive supplier is offering a product that brings together components of five highly technical vehicle subsystems into one convenient package to help save space, reduce mass, improve warranty and lower costs by up to an estimated 15 percent for vehicle manufacturers.
Delphi’s Steel Hybrid Cross-car Beam integrates the cross-car structure, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) ducting and case support, airbag system, steering column and electrical component supports into one beam made of steel overmolded with plastic. The product is able to reduce overall part count while maintaining serviceability and integrity of the vehicle steering column support, HVAC, electrical, center stack and energy-absorbing components.
“Only a supplier such as Delphi, with a depth of engineering expertise in every vehicle subsystem, could develop and manufacture this product,” said Lon Offenbacher, global business line executive, cockpits and integrated closure systems, Delphi Thermal & Interior. “We were able to develop, prototype, test and manufacture the Steel Hybrid Cross-car Beam completely in-house. It is on-the-shelf technology we are offering to our customers and we’re confident they will see its clear value proposition.”
The process begins with Delphi’s proprietary welding technologies resulting in an engineered steel structural member which then undergoes an overmolding process. Rather than using separate brackets for attaching subsystem components, attachment features and functional components are molded directly into the design of the beam.
This integrated design offers a cost savings to the vehicle manufacturer while offering enhanced dimensional stability, reduced component part count and assembly labor, and reduced mass as compared to a traditional design configuration. Additional subsystem efficiencies are gained from the integration, such as better performance in squeak and rattle as well as a reduction in the number of possible HVAC leak paths.
Engineering all of the individual subsystems into one part results in up to 50 millimeters of additional space in an area of the vehicle where real estate is at a premium. Crashworthiness and side impact protection are optimized because the beam passes straight through the HVAC module rather than bypassing it. The beam design helps assure cross-car structural performance, a major contributor to achieving five-star side impact ratings.
“Delphi’s capabilities in crossing subsystem boundaries is what led to this truly integrated product offering. It brings forth a new way of thinking about how the industry designs and develops the vehicle systems that come together in a cockpit module,” said Offenbacher.
Delphi’s Steel Hybrid Cross-car Beam is production ready and targeted for the 2009 model year.
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENT
This press release, as well as other statements made by Delphi may contain forward-looking statements within the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, that reflect, when made, the Company’s current views with respect to current events and financial performance. Such forward-looking statements are and will be, as the case may be, subject to many risks, uncertainties and factors relating to the Company’s operations and business environment which may cause the actual results of the Company to be materially different from any future results, express or implied, by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following: the ability of the Company to continue as a going concern; the ability of the Company to operate pursuant to the terms of the debtor-in-possession (“DIP”) facility; the Company’s ability to obtain court approval with respect to motions in the chapter 11 proceeding prosecuted by it from time to time; the ability of the Company to develop, prosecute, confirm and consummate one or more plans of reorganization with respect to the chapter 11 cases; risks associated with third parties seeking and obtaining court approval to terminate or shorten the exclusivity period for the Company to propose and confirm one or more plans of reorganization, for the appointment of a chapter 11 trustee or to convert the cases to chapter 7 cases; the ability of the Company to obtain and maintain normal terms with vendors and service providers; the Company’s ability to maintain contracts that are critical to its operations; the potential adverse impact of the chapter 11 cases on the Company’s liquidity or results of operations; the ability of the Company to fund and execute its business plan; the ability of the Company to attract, motivate and/or retain key executives and associates; and the ability of the Company to attract and retain customers. Other risk factors are listed from time to time in the Company’s United States Securities and Exchange Commission reports, including, but not limited to the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2004 and its most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2005 and current reports on Form 8-K. Delphi disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events and/or otherwise.
Similarly, these and other factors, including the terms of any reorganization plan ultimately confirmed, can affect the value of the Company’s various pre-petition liabilities, common stock and/or other equity securities. Additionally, no assurance can be given as to what values, if any, will be ascribed in the bankruptcy proceedings to each of these constituencies. A plan of reorganization could result in holders of Delphi’s common stock receiving no distribution on account of their interest and cancellation of their interests. As described in the Company’s public statements in response to the request submitted to the United States Trustee for the appointment of a statutory equity committee, holders of Delphi’s common stock and other equity interests (such as options) should assume that they will not receive value as part of a plan of reorganization. In addition, under certain conditions specified in the Bankruptcy Code, a plan of reorganization may be confirmed notwithstanding its rejection by an impaired class of creditors or equity holders and notwithstanding the fact that equity holders do not receive or retain property on account of their equity interests under the plan. In light of the foregoing and as stated in its October 8, 2005 press release announcing the filing of its chapter 11 reorganization cases, the Company considers the value of the common stock to be highly speculative and cautions equity holders that the stock may ultimately be determined to have no value. Accordingly, the Company urges that appropriate caution be exercised with respect to existing and future investments in Delphi’s common stock or other equity interests or any claims relating to prepetition liabilities.
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