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Delphi gets ready for boom in diesel sales

Delphi Automotive Systems, the world's largest component supplier, is forecasting a 75% increase worldwide in diesel car and LCV sales over the next 10 years. In the UK, diesel sales have increased by more than 22% this year and are forecast to reach 350,000 units. Delphi expects diesel to account for 800,000 units a year by 2005. The company predicts European penetration will level out at 50% of total market sales – currently diesel stands at 40%. It plans to double production of its common rail diesel injection systems next year by building a new plant, either in the UK – where it has three facilities – France or Poland. Ford is creating its world diesel centre at Dagenham, where it will develop more efficient technology, and Toyota is adding diesel engines to its factory to meet growing demand. Delphi Diesel's three UK facilities are the former Lucas plants in Sudbury, Suffolk; Gillingham, Kent; and Stonehouse, Gloucestershire. Delphi is supplying its acclaimed common rail diesel system to the Renault Clio, Ford Focus TDCi and, later this year, the Mondeo. It will also supply PSA and Hyundai-Kia, which is developing its own diesel engines. The first of these will be on the Matrix at the end of this year and the Accent next year. Robert Bosch, which supplies market leader Volkswagen, dominates the European diesel systems business with 75% of the market. Delphi has 20%.

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