In the documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday evening, Nikolai admitted seven Milton’s statement that he left the company in September was “inaccurate” and the company allegedly issued a statement about the company’s progress in developing electric and hydrogen-powered trucks between July 2016 and July 2020. It also lists two other statements attributed to the company during Milton’s tenure as executive chairman.
Hindenburg Research referred to all the statements listed in the document in its September short report. Nikola admitted in the document that the statements in the statement were “inaccurate in whole or in part at the time of production”.
Nikola and Milton have denied Hindenburg̵
7;s allegations in the past. The company stated in a filing on Thursday that certain allegations made by Hindbenburg were found to be inaccurate by an independent investigation commissioned by the company.
Milton is still the major shareholder of the company, owning more than 20% of the shares, although he has left the United States and the federal investigation into his false statements.
Lawyers representing Milton in some legal proceedings on behalf of the company did not respond to requests for comment on this document.
The statements classified as inaccurate include the 2016 claim that Nikola has designed a zero-emission truck and the 2020 statement that it has five trucks ready to roll off the assembly line. Milton reiterated in late 2019 and mid-2020 that Nicholas can “produce” more than 1,000 kilograms of hydrogen at the company’s demonstration station, and its hydrogen cost has “dropped” to less than $3 per kilogram.
Nicholas’ documents also disclosed that its costs related to regulatory and legal affairs surged to US$24.7 million in 2020, of which US$19.5 million came from the fourth quarter. According to Milton’s contract with him, the company also set aside $8.1 million as legal expenses, even if he left the company the day after he left FedEx on September 20. So far, it has paid $1.5 million of it.
After the market on Thursday, the company announced a loss of US$147.1 million in the fourth quarter, higher than the US$26.3 million in the same period last year. For the whole year, Nikola lost 384.3 million U.S. dollars, four times the loss in 2019.
The company did say that it will continue to deliver its first semi-finished product, Nikola Tre, to customers before the end of this year. But in the conference call on Thursday, it revised the number of vehicles expected to be delivered in 2021 to only about 100 vehicles. The price of each truck is about 300,000 U.S. dollars, which will make Nikolai’s income about 30 million U.S. dollars. So far, it has hardly received any sales revenue.
Nikola went public in June 2020, and its stock soared rapidly, doubling its value within a day of starting trading. In August, the company announced a deal with a major garbage company to dispose of 5,000 electric garbage trucks that have not been designed.A few days before the short seller’s allegations against the company, Nikolai announced a deal in September that could have been General Motors (General Motors) Owns 11% of Nikola’s shares and enables two automakers to collaborate on the development of electric pickup trucks.
However, after being accused, the stock price plummeted and never recovered. Before the allegations were made public, its transaction price was less than half of its value. The garbage truck deal was abandoned, and General Motors withdrew from the deal.
The company said it will now focus on heavy trucks and hydrogen refueling stations.
Chief Executive Officer Mark Russell said when announcing the company’s performance on Thursday: “In the fourth quarter of 2020, Nikola made the necessary adjustments to re-adjust the company’s focus and structure.”