Nikola and General Motors have been the talk of Wall Street lately, with a recent partnership between the two automakers resulting in dramatic shifts in stock prices for the upstart Nikola. Much of the action behind the scenes can be attributed to former General Motors executive Steve Girsky, who retired from GM’s Board of Directors in 2016 after working at GM for seven years.
Per a recent report from Automotive News, Girsky was responsible for a number of Nikola’s headline moves this year. Not only did Girsky help to secure $700 million in funding via a merger with VectoIQ, he also oversaw Nikola’s public listing through a reverse merger. Additionally, the former General Motors executive leveraged his contacts at GM to move the recent partnership deal forward.
Now, however, Nikola’s shares have dropped sharply following a scathing report filed last week that claims Nikola’s founder, Trevor Milton, overstated the company’s tech capabilities. The report, filed by Hindenburd Research and titled “Nikola: How to Parlay An Ocean of Lies Into a Partnership With the Largest Auto OEM in America,” says that the company’s new battery system technology does not exist, and that certain vehicle components Nikola claims as its own actually come from other companies.
In addition to putting a dent in Nikola’s stock, the report has sparked federal investigations and led some critics to claim General Motors failed to properly vet the startup before announcing the recent partnership. Grisky, however, remains steadfast in his analysis of Nikola.
“We showed up with an army of people to due diligence this thing,” Grisky said early last month. “I don’t doubt there are going to be twists and turns here, but I did put my reputation on the line for this deal.”
As the recent Automotive News report points out, Grisky was reportedly the first to bring Nikola to the attention of GM CEO Mary Barra. Barra too has gone on record in saying that Nikola was properly vetted prior to the partnership announcement.
We’ll follow this story as it develops and bring you all the latest. In the meantime, make sure to subscribe to GM Authority for more GM business partnership news, GM business news, and around-the-clock GM news coverage.