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Delphi founder with Dayton ties has died

A former Dayton executive who helped create Delphi Automotive has died.

Blair Thompson, once a General Motors executive, died Jan. 29. He was 89.

Thompson helped lay the foundation for parts supplier Delphi Automotive, which in 1999 was spun off by GM into an independent company.

Automotive News reports Thompson became the general manager of the Delco Products Division in Dayton in 1974 and then general manager of the Packard Electric Division in Warren.

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In 1984, the auto trade publication states GM promoted Thompson to the new position of group vice president of the automotive components group where he consolidated 15 GM parts divisions that employed 230,000 people worldwide.

The restructured parts operation became Automotive Components Group which was renamed Delphi Automotive Systems in 1995 and then in 1999, Delphi was spun off by GM into an independent company and the largest U.S. auto parts supplier.

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When GM spun off the parts-making arm, Delphi had about 15,000 Dayton-area employees. Delphi filed for bankruptcy in 2005 and today its local plants are closed.

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