TROY, MI – Delphi Automotive renames the two publicly traded companies it created by splitting its powertrain and electronics businesses into separate entities, a move the U.K.-based parts-making giant made in response to the industry’s drive toward autonomous vehicles.

The electronics business, which accounts for an estimated $12.5 billion in annual Delphi revenue, is renamed Aptiv. The spin-off powertrain unit, a contributor of about $4.5 billion in sales annually, is renamed Delphi Technologies.

The companies will be independent operations reporting separate financials. Each will get its own board of directors but remain wholly owned by Delphi Automotive until the spin-off occurs. At that time, Delphi Automotive will cease as an entity. Shareholders must approve the name changes at a special meeting Nov. 7. The names were announced earlier today during the company’s annual investor conference in Boston.

“The names Aptiv and Delphi Technologies clearly reflect the independent identities, visions and directions of the two companies, each a global leader in its industry,” says Kevin Clark, president and CEO of Delphi Automotive.

“Both will continue to embody Delphi’s core themes of safe, green, and connected, with the autonomy and expertise to react to the rapidly changing dynamics in the automotive industry and solve its customers’ most complex challenges,” he says in a statement. “Customers, employees, partners and shareholders will benefit from the separation into two independent and well-resourced companies with the flexibility to invest and grow even faster and more profitably than today.”

Clark will remain CEO of Aptiv, while Liam Butterworth, currently senior vice president and president of the powertrain unit, will become CEO of Delphi Technologies.

“The entire Delphi Technologies organization is energized to move forward as a focused company,” Butterworth says. “We are uniquely positioned with the technical competency and execution capability to deliver advanced vehicle-propulsion systems that help our customers meet increasingly stringent regulatory standards while unlocking the power to support the ever-increasing electrical content being added to vehicles.”

Aptiv comprises Delphi’s Electronics & Safety and Electrical/Electronic Architecture businesses. It will continue its focus and intensive growth plan on the commercialization of active-safety technologies, autonomous driving, enhanced user experiences and connected services by providing the enabling software, advanced computing platforms and networking architecture to OEMs. Delphi calls the integrated suite of products the brain, or nervous system, of the vehicle.

Delphi says the powertrain unit will continue forward in its historical role in the core OEM and aftermarket supply chain with a continued focus on advanced vehicle propulsion through combustion, software and controls and electrification advances.

The business split caps a wild recent history for Delphi, a former captive parts maker to General Motors spun off from the automaker in 1999. It underwent a protracted bankruptcy beginning in 2005 and, prior to reincorporating in 2009, divested much of its low-margin businesses such as brakes and spark plugs with a plan to focus more on the brains of the vehicle than its nuts and bolts. It is now among the leading developers and integrators of advanced safety and the building blocks of autonomous vehicles.

Delphi expects the spin-off to occur by the end of March. Aptiv will trade under the symbol APTV, while powertrain retains the DLPH symbol. Both will trade on the New York Stock Exchange. The companies will make their debuts at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

jamend@wardsauto.com