Nikola Corp., the Phoenix company planning a major entry into zero-emissions truck manufacturing, said Monday that allegations raised by a recent report are “false and misleading” and intended to manipulate its stock price.
But Nikola appeared to concede to the Hindenburg Research report on one major claim: that a truck used in a 2017 promotional video was not actually driving.
In a six-page rebuttal that the company says “sets the record straight,” Nikola said Hindenburg Research made several misrepresentations about its technology in an effort to benefit short sellers, including Hindenburg, that profit from falling share prices.
Nikola also said its legal counsel has briefed and will cooperate with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on the matter.
The company’s response seemed to reassure investors a bit. Nikola stock rose $3.66 a share to $35.79 on Monday.
Regarding the 2017 video of the truck, which Hindenburg alleged was recorded on a sloping highway in Utah, Nikola called the claim “irrelevant.”
“Nikola never stated its truck was driving under its own propulsion in the video, although the truck was designed to do just that. … The truck was showcased and filmed by a third party for a commercial. Nikola described this third-party video on the Company’s social media as ‘In Motion.’ It was never described as ‘under its own propulsion’ or ‘powertrain driven,’” the company wrote in its response.
The Nikola response goes on to say that investors knew the capabilities of the truck “at the time of their investment.” The company called the video “irrelevant except