General Motors Co. is setting up two parts subsidiaries to take control of several Delphi Corp. operations as its former captive supply arm gets closer to exiting bankruptcy protection.

The auto maker is establishing GM Components Holdings LLC to house four Delphi plants in the U.S., including Thermal Systems in Lockport, NY; Powertrain Systems in Rochester, NY; Delphi Powertrain Systems Grand Rapids in Wyoming, MI; and Delphi Electronics and Safety in Kokomo, IN.

GM Global Steering Holdings LLC will group together Delphi steering operations in Saginaw, MI, and 15 global steering manufacturing plants, plus engineering centers in Europe, Mexico, Brazil, India, China and Australia, the auto maker says.

The global operations serve some 60 customers worldwide, including Renault SA, Volkswagen AG, Ford Motor Co., Fiat Automobiles SpA, Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd., Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., Tata Motors Ltd. and more than 10 Chinese vehicle manufacturers.

The Saginaw-based facilities, which produce steering gears, power-steering pumps, steering columns, intermediate shafts and driveline products, will be called GM Global Steering Holdings LLC and be run as a subsidiary within GM Global Steering Holdings.

GM intends to maintain its control of the component operations but indicates it could seek a buyer for the steering business in the future.

“GM will reevaluate its ownership of steering as industry conditions evolve but will use great care to ensure stability and supply continuity under any scenario,” spokeswoman Susan Garavaglia tells Ward’s.

GM Global Steering Holdings will operate as a stand-alone entity and continue to pursue new business outside GM, she says.

Delphi spokesman David Barnas says the steering business accounted for $2 billion in revenue in 2008, employing about 6,300 workers worldwide, including more than 3,000 in Saginaw.

“The Delphi component plants and global steering operations provide critical parts and technologies that are necessary to produce our GM cars and trucks,” Gary Cowger, group vice president-Global Manufacturing and Labor, says in a statement detailing the move.

The two new subsidiaries represent about 7,100 employees in the U.S.

Delphi says it could exit from bankruptcy as early as Aug. 31.