By Mike Colias 

A Nikola Corp. executive defended the electric-truck firm's technology and business plan, telling an investor conference that its partners are sticking with the startup despite the departure on Monday of its high-profile founder and chairman.

"Nothing has changed," Kim Brady, Nikola's chief financial officer, told investors during a virtual conference hosted by Evercore ISI. "We recommend that investors really focus on the future and what we have delivered and what we're going to deliver."

Nikola, a Phoenix-based startup with backing from General Motors Co., Robert Bosch GmBH and other big names in the manufacturing sector, has come under scrutiny in recent weeks following allegations it misled investors about the progress of its technology.

Nikola founder Trevor Milton stepped down from his role as executive chairman Sunday, saying he wanted the focus of the company to be on the business, not him. He was replaced by Stephen Girsky, a former GM executive and Nikola director who is well-known in the auto industry.

The allegations outlined in a short seller's report released earlier this month have raised questions among investors and analysts about whether Nikola's partner companies did their due diligence.

Mr. Brady, responding to such concerns, said Nikola was well-vetted, and that Bosch, for example, sent an "army" of engineers to assess the company and its technology before making its investment.

Nikola has also called the report by Hindenburg Research false.

Write to Mike Colias at Mike.Colias@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 22, 2020 12:54 ET (16:54 GMT)

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