Nikola Tumbles After Backing Away From Badger: Is GM The Next Shoe To Drop?

Nikola Tumbles After Backing Away From Badger: Is GM The Next Shoe To Drop?

Tyler Durden

Fri, 10/16/2020 – 10:08

Nikola stock is down about 8% in early trading on Friday after a series of interestingly timed reports from both the Financial Times and Bloomberg late on Thursday night, where Nikola looks as though it is distancing itself from its Badger pickup truck and making a point to reassure the public it can go it alone without a partnership with General Motors. 

In a Bloomberg article called “Nikola Can Go It Alone If Deal With GM Crumbles, CEO Says”, published late on Thursday night, the company’s CEO assured the public that his company sees a “path ahead” for itself even if the GM deal doesn’t come to fruition. 

The article notes that talks between the two companies are ongoing, but GM declined to comment for the piece. Nikola’s CEO, Mark Russell, said: “We have the ability and we have a base plan of doing it ourselves. If we have a partner, that just enables us to consider going faster and helps reduce the risk. We’ve proven that over the years that we are a partnership company when those things are available to us.”

Nikola also looks as though it is trying to divert attention away from the Badger pickup truck, which was slated as one of the key production projects between the company and General Motors. 

“The Badger is part of our discussions with GM. And we’ve been clear all along that we wouldn’t build a Badger without an OEM partner,” Nikola’s CEO said.

Interestingly, the Financial Times also published an interview with Nikola’s CEO right around the same time Thursday night. That piece, called “Nikola boss plays down importance of Badger pick-up truck” delivered the same message. 

“The Badger was an interesting and exciting project to some shareholders, but our institutional shareholders are mostly focused on the business plan,” Russell told the FT. He continued: “Our core business plan since before we became publicly listed always focused on heavy trucks and hydrogen infrastructure.”

Four months prior, the FT piece notes, Russell had called the Badger a “game changer”. 

This leaves open the obvious question, especially due to the timing of these reports. Did Nikola solicit these reports to try and get in front of a coming narrative – or is it just a coincidence that both reports, both working to distance the company from the Badger – both appeared within hours of one another?

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Author: Tyler Durden

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