If you’re familiar with Delphi—a former GM division with the words “bankrupt since October 10, 2005” over the door—then you’ll know that they’re a not-so-hidden cancer on GM cancerous corpse. Even as The General seeks to survive with a federal IV stuck in its metaphorical artery, it continues to peel off just enough cash—now your cash—to keep the parts maker making parts. For vehicles no one’s buying; but that’s how the industry doesn’t roll these days. So, some bad news from the oracle then. First, GM’s told their pals at the SEC (accounting scandal forgotten) that they’re accelerating a $50m payment to Delphi. [NB: Delphi had asked GM for a $100m hurry-up.] Can you say running on fumes? Delphi can. “The Company believes the amendment and accelerated GM support will enable it to preserve available liquidity given the difficult economic environment, particularly in the global automotive industry,” Delphi said in a filing with their pals over at the federal bankruptcy court. Judge Robert Drain, no less. And the cutbacks keep on happening!
The Detroit News reports that both of Delphi’s remaining U.S.-based white collar workers are about—or in DetN-speak “may”—lose their health care benefits. Just joking. Some 10k workers face this grim prospect. As Warren Zevon says, it ain’t that funny at all. [Speaking of "shared sacrifice," Delphi's UAW workers are exempt from this one.] Here’s the skinny.
Troy-based Delphi Corp. sought permission Wednesday from a federal bankruptcy court in New York to cancel retiree health benefits for current and future salaried retirees, a move that it says would save the company $200 million from 2009 through 2011.
The auto parts supplier also sought to end post-retirement basic life insurance benefits for current and future retirees.
The moves would allow Delphi to reduce its balance sheet liabilities by $1.1 billion. About 15,000 salaried retirees with medical and insurance benefits would lose coverage. The company wants to end coverage “as soon as (it is able) after March 31.”
Can they do that? They can do that. We’ve got several insiders within Delphi. It’s bleak. Unless the company gets a turn at the multi-billion dollar federal bailout buffet, Chapter 7 is only a matter of time, and not much of it.
And yes, Delphi still makes enough parts for GM to stop GM making cars if they stop making them. Which doesn’t seem quite as terminal as before, what with Uncle Sugar keeping the cash flowing. Until and unless your legislators pull the plug on GM. And then the whole house of cards will come crashing down.