But to develop E-Steer, Delphi had to begin remaking itself, dramatically increasing the number of electric and electronic engineers working for a supplier long dominated by mechanical engineers. That was a key transition for the company. By the time it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009, Delphi was focused on products that were primarily electronic — what then-CEO Rodney O'Neal defined as "safe, green and connected."
While in bankruptcy, though, Delphi gave its steering unit back to General Motors, which renamed the unit Nexteer Automotive. And in 2010, the automaker sold Nexteer Automotive to Pacific Century Motors, an investment venture partly owned by the city of Beijing.
Today, electric power-steering systems are arguably the most fundamental building block for park assist and a host of other advanced driver-assistance systems that critical to autonomous vehicle technology.