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Is GM pondering an all-EV spinoff?

With Tesla and Nikola valuations soaring, GM CEO Mary Barra is said to be considering splitting off the company's electric aspirations.

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Craig Cole/Roadshow

In the grand scheme of electrified offerings, GM was ahead of the curve with the plug-in Chevrolet Volt and later the all-electric Bolt EV. Now, it seems, the company is thinking about spinning off its electrified offerings into a dedicated sub-brand.

According to an Automotive News report Thursday, the idea has been circulating at General Motors since 2018. It's gaining new steam thanks to the skyrocketing valuations of all-electric companies like Tesla and Nikola, the former of which currently has a market valuation of approximately eight times that of GM.

There's precedent for moves like this as well. When General Motors unveiled the Cruise AV at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, it wasn't labeled a Chevrolet -- despite clearly being based on a Bolt EV. It was simply a Cruise.

Isolating all the corporation's many electrified efforts under a single roof would likely cause some product planning headaches, however. The Bolt EV is well-established under the Chevrolet brand, while Cadillac has just unveiled the Lyriq to the world. It'd be a shame to take these models away from the brands that spawned them, but that may be what the market demands.

When asked for comment, a GM spokesperson referenced Mary Barra's statement in a recent investor call: "We are open to looking at and evaluating anything that we think is going to drive long-term shareholder value. Nothing is off the table."