NEW YORK – General Motors is investing in a company that has designed a new type of high-strength, lightweight steel which could help the auto maker significantly improve fuel economy in their cars and trucks for future production.
GM said Monday that its venture capital arm, General Motors Ventures, and a number of lead shareholders have invested an undisclosed sum in Nano Steel Co., a private steel manufacturing company founded in 2001.
The private steel company which is based in Providence, Rhode Island, has developed a new type of steel alloy that is designed to be thinner and stronger than conventional steel, allowing manufacturers to use more efficient steel products without compromising structural integrity.
The product, called ‘nano-structured’ steel, can be used instead of aluminum and other materials that auto makers have considered and turned down because of associated costs.
Jon Lauckner, chief technology officer, head of global research and development, and president of GM Ventures, said that Nano Steel’s offering is an “innovative potential” in the constant battle of the automotive industry to reduce weight and fuel consumption of vehicles.
Nano Steel earlier stated that the investment by GM through Series C equity financing, would “accelerate the final stages of development” of its new steel product.