Monday 30th November 2020
The largest US automaker General Motors (GM) is backing down on its strategic partnership with Tesla rival Nikola. An initially planned share participation in the electric car start-up should not be given for the time being. Nikola admits this in a message. Plans for a shared electric pick-up called Badger were also rejected. Nikola came under heavy pressure in the fall after allegations of fraud because of suspected misleading investors, boss and founder Tevor Milton took his hat. Since then, it has been unclear how GM will react to the allegations and whether the US industry giant would continue to stand by the partner.
Now a far-reaching alliance from September has been turned back – it remains only a non-binding declaration of intent, according to which GM is to provide its Hydrotec fuel cell system for Nikolas planned truck production. This caused great disillusionment on the stock market – Nikolas shares fell over 20 percent in early New York trading. GM had actually wanted to take an eleven percent stake in Nikola. An attack by the short seller Hindenburg Research abruptly stopped the Tesla competitor from Phoenix, Arizona, USA, about two months ago.
No market-ready product on offer
Hindenburg accused Nikola founder Milton of a number of impostures and came to the conclusion that his company was ultimately a “complex fraud”. Hindenburg bets against Nikola as a financial speculator and profits from it when the company’s shares fall. But Milton could not refute some allegations and had to admit to have bluffed at a product presentation.
Among other things, Nikola competes with Tesla in the development of electric pick-up trucks and trucks. The company has been shaking up the stock market since the middle of the year and caused great euphoria there with ambitious growth plans. In the meantime, investors rated Nikola even higher than the US auto giant Ford, although the company has not yet offered a single marketable product. The fraud allegations have dropped stocks sharply, but Nikola was still valued at $ 8.8 billion at last.