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Delphi hires firm to sell 2 units; site in Adrian affected

Delphi Corp., the largest auto-parts maker to file for bankruptcy, has hired Rothschild Inc. to explore the sale of two business units that make components such as doors and dashboards.

Among the 11 sites to be sold in the Cockpits & Interior Systems and Integrated Closure Systems businesses would be the factory in Adrian, which makes vehicle dashboards. The Adrian and Sandusky factories were among 21 Delphi said three months ago it planned to sell or close as part of its bankruptcy reorganization.

Delphi, the biggest U.S. auto-parts maker, announced a plan in March to exit unprofitable businesses and reduce costs to help emerge from bankruptcy by mid-2007. It wants to trim as many as 8,500 jobs and close 21 of 29 U.S. manufacturing sites.

The Troy, Mich., company has said the group of factories to be sold by Rothschild, an investment banking firm, make products such as instrument panels, cockpits, latches, and door modules. Delphi did not say how many workers are involved at the plants.

John Clark, president of United Auto Workers Local 2031 in Adrian, said he was not surprised by the consultant's hiring. Still, he said he is not worried about the future of the plant because it makes dashboards for the popular CK truck and the company has invested $50 million there in the last three years.

"We're going to be there for a while," he said.

Top Delphi officials plan to tour the plant Thursday to see whether it should be included in the holding group, he said. The factory has 350 to 400 hourly workers, a number changing almost daily as workers retire and others bump in from other plants.

Delphi also has said it will sell or close units including brakes, catalysts, and steering and wheel bearings, the last of which includes the Sandusky plant.

The company filed for bankruptcy for its U.S. operations in October.

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