- General Motors and Nikola announced a $US2-billion deal to produce vehicles using GM’s Ultium battery technology, fuel-cell systems, and manufacturing expertise.
- The first vehicle to result from the partnership would be the Nikola Badger, a pickup truck entering production in 2022.
- Share of both companies moved higher in pre-market trading on Tuesday.
- The news comes after GM and Honda announced plans to develop a partnership in North America.
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GM is moving fast to stay competitive in the post-coronavirus auto industry. On Tuesday, the largest US carmaker by sales announced a “strategic partnership” with Nikola, a six-year-old company that recently minted a $US13-billion market capitalisation.
The deal entails GM taking a $US2-billion stake in Nikola. In a statement, the companies said Nikola would swap the equity for “in-kind services and access to General Motors’ global safety-tested and validated parts and components.”
The statement continued: “General Motors will engineer, homologate, validate and manufacture the Nikola Badger battery electric and fuel cell versions.”
The partnership would also provide access to GM’s fuel-cell technology, to be used for heavy trucks.
GM and Nikola unveiled the deal just a week after GM and Honda said they have signed a memorandum of understanding to pursue a strategic partnership in North America.
“This strategic partnership with Nikola, an industry-leading disrupter, continues the broader deployment of General Motors’ all-new Ultium battery and … fuel cell systems,” CEO Mary Barra said in a statement.
“By joining together, we get access to their validated parts for all of our programs, General Motors’ Ultium battery technology and a multi-billion dollar fuel cell program ready for production,” Nikola founded Trevor Milton said.
“Nikola immediately gets decades of supplier and manufacturing knowledge, validated and tested production-ready EV propulsion, world-class engineering and investor confidence. Most importantly, General Motors has a vested interest to see Nikola succeed.”
Nikola shares, which were listed earlier this year through a special-acquisition merger, shot up almost 39% on the news, in pre-market trading after the holiday weekend. GM shares gained 7%.
The companies said that the first vehicle to result from the deal would begin with the Nikola Badger, a pickup designed to be produced in both electric and fuel cell versions, entering production in 2022. Additional vehicles â€” the Nikola Tre, Nikola One, Nikola Two, and NZT â€” would follow.
GM stake would be locked up until 2025, the automaker said.
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