(Photo : General Motors)
General Motors' venture capital arm, GM Ventures LLC, announced today that it is investing in The NanoSteel Company. The automaker says that the move will ultimately lead to a reduction in weight of GM cars without a reduction in quality.
The terms of the deal were not made public. GM Ventures carried out the Series C financing round with seven investors, including its lead shareholders, EnerTech Capital and Fairhaven Capital Partners.
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According to GM, NanoSteel uses patented alloys and has developed steel that has the thinness necessary to improve cars' fuel efficiency while being strong enough to maintain structural integrity. GM call's NanoSteel's steel preferable to similar products that may be costlier, require greater changes in parts production, and have performance limitations.
"We are investing in NanoSteel because of the opportunity associated with their new steel alloy technology," Jon Lauckner, GM's chief technology officer, vice president of Global R&D and president of GM Ventures LLC, said in a statement. "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 Ventures investment in NanoSteel demonstrates its confidence in our company's potential to achieve widespread impact on the auto industry through our proprietary steel designs," said Dave Paratore, president and CEO of NanoSteel. "With the support of General Motors' automotive expertise and technology leadership, we can accelerate the final phases of development of our nano-structured AHSS in the quest to economically lightweight vehicles."