Nikola Chief Says Company Doesn’t Need GM

Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) chief executive officer (CEO) Mark Russell said in an interview that the company doesn’t need its partnership with General Motors (NYSE:GM), which continues to be negotiated, according to a Bloomberg report. 

Nikola and GM announced a strategic partnership agreement just days before Hindenburg Research released a damaging report on Nikola last month. After the stock’s significant drop following the report, the two automotive companies went back to the table to renegotiate details of the agreement

As part of the agreement, GM would manufacture Nikola’s proposed Badger pickup truck. Now, CEO Russell says that Nikola has a plan to move forward without the Badger if it can’t secure a manufacturing agreement with GM or another partner. 

Nikola's Badger pickup truck displayed off-road

Nikola Badger. Image source: Nikola Corporation.

Russell made it clear that the Badger would only be a part of Nikola’s product portfolio with a partnership agreement. “We’ve been clear all along that we wouldn’t build a Badger without an OEM partner,” he said in the interview. 

The company is also reportedly pursuing a partnership with energy giant BP (NYSE:BP) for a network of hydrogen-fueling stations in North America. Without specifically commenting on the BP talks, Nikola says it plans to have a partner announced before the end of the year. Nikola also has a partnership with auto supplier Robert Bosch to jointly develop fuel-cell technology, which it can use for its semi truck fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) offerings that it plans to begin rolling out to the public in 2023. 

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