Do you feel Delphi Technologies is getting lost in the mix with all the news about Aptiv?
Butterworth: As we spin off, what we've been working actively on is communicating our story. We've been really correcting the business over the last several years to focus on all angles of combustion technology and electrification. We're doing this so people understand this is a business that's ready in supporting and assisting the (automakers) on whatever the future holds for automobiles. There are two strong dynamics driving the auto industry at the moment. That's one of the reasons we decided to split Delphi. What's driving everything we do is regulations and emissions standards. Aptiv is a fantastic business, I know that side very well. They are focused on the challenges of driving technology evolution.
Gustanski: Autonomous is getting all the wow in the press, making us seem understated, but who is getting the calls for business every day? It's us.
But does the separation and "wow" factor impact your ability to attract talent?
Gustanski: Propulsion is about hardware, but it's also about how you put the pieces of those products together and the software that connects them. There are plenty of innovations to happen in powertrain in the future. Sure, there are engineers that love to work on automated driving, but there are also engineers passionate about powertrain. It's a different skill set, I can tell you. But there's engineers on both sides and we're still able to pick the right skill sets and backgrounds.
Have the goals changed now that you're a separate public company?
Butterworth: No, not really. The different parts of Delphi's business always operated pretty independently. I had my own vision when I got here in 2013 and that was getting the cost structure right, focusing R&D on the right phase of the portfolio. Now it's building on that platform and investing in core technologies, like the diesel business, our direct gasoline injection platform, electrification, software and our China business.
Now that your cost structure is cleaned up, is there M&A on the horizon as a buyer or seller?
Butterworth: My first priority is the successful spinoff of the company with no disruptions internally or with the customer. So there's quite a bit of work to do in the next six to 12 months. It's all about driving shareholder value, so when we look at our portfolio, we think of it as depth rather than breadth. There are definitely areas we can do deeper and there are acquisitions that could help us. We'll be looking very hard at this in the coming months.
You mentioned the work ahead of you. What's your biggest fear as a standalone?
Butterworth: Part of the Delphi DNA is we're paranoid about everything -- all aspects of the business. That's why Delphi has been so successful and will continue to be successful. But we do have 230 new program launches we need to complete in the next 12 months in Europe, North America and China. It's about flawless execution of those programs and increase our capacity where we need to. I'm also hyper-focused on keeping the right talent in the business and attracting key new talent around our R&D machine. Making sure we've got the right software engineers, the right electronics capability and the right manufacturing support engineers at the plants to support these new launches.
The changing auto industry doesn't scare you?
Butterworth: I think it's a fantastic period the industry is going through. This is the most dynamic change the industry has seen in many, many years. Which is why we've split Aptiv and Delphi. I see it as a lot of opportunity for suppliers with the right technology, right global reach and the right portfolio of products. Every customer is facing this challenge of what tech is needed today. I think, in 15 years, they will still be relying on suppliers like Delphi Technologies because of our portfolio and our ability to be agile in a global market.