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Nikola leaves a European collaborative experience concentrating on North American hydrogen trucks

May 10, 2023: Electric heavy truck maker Nikola said on Tuesday that it’s “refocusing the company on North America” as it exited a European joint venture with its chassis supplier,

The news came as the firm reported its first-quarter results. Here are the key numbers and Wall Street estimates, as written by Refinitiv.

Shares were down about 10% in early trading following the report.

Nikola’s net loss for the quarter was $169.1 million, or 26 cents per share, adjusted. A year ago, Nikola lost $152.9 million, or 21 cents for every share on an adjusted basis, on revenue of $1.9 million.

Nikola had $121.1 million in cash remaining as of March 31, down from $233.4 million at the end of 2022.

As part of a realignment to conserve cash, Nikola announced overnight that it had sold its share of a European joint venture to its longtime partner, Italian heavy-truck maker Iveco Group, for $35 million in cash and 20.6 million Nikola shares that Iveco will return. Under the deal, Iveco will continue to supply chassis and related components to Nikola and remain an investor.

“Manufacturing and energy are capital-intensive businesses, and we need to remain focused where we have competitive and first-mover advantages,” Nikola said.

Nikola produced 63 battery-electric trucks and delivered 31 to dealers in the quarter. Its dealers sold 33 trucks to end customers during the period. As expected, the production of Nikola’s next model, a longer-range fuel-cell-powered version of its semi-truck, is on track to begin in July.

It said Nikola currently has orders for 140 fuel-cell trucks for 12 fleet customers.

Nikola said it would temporarily suspend production of the battery-electric truck while reconfiguring its assembly line to build both the battery-electric and fuel-cell trucks. While it expects the fuel-cell truck to become its primary product, it will continue to build battery-electric trucks to order after production of the fuel-cell truck begins, it said.

“As we move forward, focusing on the North American market, hydrogen fuel cell trucks, the HYLA hydrogen refuelling business, and autonomous technologies,” CEO Michael Lohscheller said. “We have the right products at the time.”

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Nikola leaves a European collaborative experience concentrating on North American hydrogen trucks