The venture capital arm of General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) has invested an undisclosed amount in a Series C round of financing for lightweight steel maker NanoSteel Co. GM joins seven other venture capital firms that have already committed funds to the steel maker.
NanoSteel has developed a new kind of lightweight steel that can be used in place of aluminum and other higher priced materials to reduce the weight of automobiles. In auto making, lower weight translates into better fuel economy, a must for automakers seeking to meet the stricter federal fuel economy standards.
The president of GM’s venture firm, GM Ventures LLC, said:
Over the next several years, light-weighting of vehicles will be a major focus area to improve fuel economy. NanoSteel’s nano-structured alloys offer unique material characteristics that are not available today, making them a potential game-changer.
GM could use a little good news this morning. The company is being sued by Dutch sports car maker Spyker, which claims that the US giant deliberately caused the bankruptcy of Spyker’s Saab subsidiary by blocking a deal with a Chinese investor.
GM’s shares are down-0.4% at $19.96 this morning, in a 52-week range of $18.72-$27.68.