Delphi Automotive Systems

(DPH)

said Thursday it will close nine plants and downsize its staff at more than 40 other facilities, laying off 5% of its workforce worldwide due to uncertain automotive industry production volumes.

The auto parts supplier also chopped $100 million to $150 million off its first-quarter revenue forecast, citing weaker-than-expected vehicle manufacturer orders and soft U.S. aftermarket sales.

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Of the 11,500 job cuts worldwide, 5,600 are of U.S. hourly employees and 2,000 are of U.S. salaried employees. The remaining 3,900 targeted jobs are outside the U.S.

Delphi locations in various stages of consolidation, closure are sale are in the U.K., France, Brazil, Germany and Italy, as well as U.S. plants in Fort Defiance, Ariz., Robertsdale, Ala., and Saginaw, Mich.

Delphi, which supplies vehicle electronics, transportation components, integrated systems and modules, plans to take a $400 million charge in its first quarter.

For its first quarter ending March 2001, Delphi said it expects a loss of $50 million to breakeven.

"We clearly cannot operate this close to our breakeven point," Delphi said. "We believe it is now time to take sustained action to permanently reduce capacity and adjust our company infrastructure accordingly."

According to

Thomson Financial/First Call

, 19 analysts were expecting the company to earn 17 cents a share in the first quarter, down drastically from 57 cents a share in the year-ago quarter.

The company expects to post first-quarter revenue of $6.4 billion to $6.5 billion, $100 million to $150 million less than its January projection, and down 18% from $7.8 billion in the year-ago period.

For its second quarter, the company anticipates revenue of $6.8 billion to $6.9 billion and earnings of $160 million to $200 million.

Earlier this month, Delphi said it would

acquire

Eaton's

(ETN) - Get Report

vehicle switch and electronics division for $300 million.

Shares of Delphi were down 32 cents, or 2.4%, to $13.61 in recent

New York Stock Exchange

trading.