Nikola “sharpens focus” in an effort to keep business afloat
Nikola Motor has released an update on its “business optimisation efforts”, which may otherwise run under emergency measures. Nikola is laying off nearly 300 staff in Europe and the US and will decrease spending; however, there is also renewed focus.
In the company’s terms, the measures will result in streamlined operations. Says CEO Michael Lohscheller: “We are proactively managing costs and reducing expenses. We are streamlining operations, including our organizational structure, to efficiently execute our objectives.”
Objectives aside for a moment, Nikola confirmed it has laid off 150 staff who previously supported the company’s European programs and approximately 120 employees based at the company’s Phoenix and Coolidge sites in Arizona.
As for the European operations, the move follows an announcement by Iveco, which decided in May to fully acquire the electric truck joint venture it established with Nikola in 2019. The deal will cost Iveco $55 million, including 20 million for Nikola shares, and will effectively buy out Nikola from the European markets. For Nikola, this is the renewed focus on the US and fuel cells, as reported.
Talk about shares, shortly after Iveco’s announcement, the US stock exchange Nasdaq warned Nikola of delisting due to the share price being below one US dollar per share for 30 consecutive days. The company has been granted a grace period until 20 November 2023 to comply with regulations. Nasdaq has a minimum share price rule that requires the share price to be above $1 for ten consecutive business days.
The news of cost reduction and streamlining can also be seen in this light.
On the site of better news for Nikola, the company is now focussed on launching the Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell truck in Q3, which currently has 178 sales orders from 14 customers. CEO Lohscheller expected the Tre FCEV to go into production “in a matter of weeks”. The company further expects to localize the supply chain and, for example, plans to assemble Bosch fuel cell power modules in Coolidge to reduce the material cost of the trucks.
Battery electric models are to be produced only to order; Nikola has a permit for the Iveco S-Way technology in North America and related components.