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Coming in 2022: the electric Cadillac LYRIQ. Photo: GM

Wall Street still views General Motors as yesterday's news, so one way for GM to get credit for its in-house capability is to spin off its electric vehicle operations as a stand-alone business.

Why it matters: Pure plays on electric vehicles are all the rage among investors — just look at Tesla's valuation.

Driving the news: GM on Thursday unveiled the Cadillac LYRIQ show car, a luxury crossover SUV that will be among the first based on GM's new modular electric vehicle platform and Ultium battery propulsion system.

  • It's among 20 EVs that GM plans to launch by 2023, including a reborn Hummer electric vehicle.

Context: The reveal came just a week after GM CEO Mary Barra opened the door to a potential electric vehicle spinoff in response to a question during a call with investment analysts.

  • "We are open to looking at and evaluate anything that we think is going to drive long-term shareholder value," she said, adding that "nothing is off the table."
  • In fact, GM had already floated the idea internally back in 2018, according to Bloomberg.
  • Today, the motivation looks even stronger with aspiring electric vehicle makers like Nikola, Fisker and Rivian attracting vast amounts of capital in both the public and private markets.

Yes, but: The downside is that if GM does lop off its electric vehicle business as a standalone entity, its core manufacturing business could look even less attractive to investors.

Go deeper

Oct 30, 2020 - Economy & Business

How Trump and Biden would steer the future of transportation

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden would likely steer automotive policy in different directions over the next four years, potentially changing the industry's road map to the future.

Why it matters: The auto industry is on the cusp of historic technological changes and the next president — as well as the next Congress — could have an extraordinary influence on how the future of transportation plays out.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists — National standardized tests delayed until 2022.
  5. Cities: Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. World: London police arrest dozens during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.