Green

Could the new GM be a cleantech play?

General Motors announced today it will move forward with a public offering valued at around $13 billion. The company will be selling 365 million shares of common stock between $26 and $29.

The sale marks part of the U.S. Treasury’s divestiture, which plans to reduce its holdings to about 43 percent, according to the New York Times. And it also marks a new start for GM, which had long been struggling before the U.S. government stepped in with a bailout at the height of the financial crisis.

Things are looking up somewhat — the company is doing much better since posting a $3.2 billion loss in the third quarter of last year. Flash-forward to this last quarter, and GM expects third-quarter net income to be around $2 billion on $34 billion in revenue.

But here’s the problem: Although the company actually makes decent cars, the brand still suffers from poor consumer sentiment. One of the ways the company is trying to reframe itself — and become more relevant — is through sparkly new offerings like the Chevy Volt, which will begin hitting dealerships this December.

The Volt has hype, and for good reason — it’s on the cleantech edge of things. It’s a $41,000 range extender that runs 25 to 50 miles on an electric battery before shifting to gas power. We reviewed the Chevy Volt last week.

The Volt is up against the even more-hyped all-electric (and cheaper) Nissan Leaf, which also releases in December, not to mention the well-established Toyota Prius, which also has a plug-in version coming out. But being able to play in the buzzy new electric car and cleantech world is a good sign for an old — and some may argue outdated — company like Chevy.

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