AD #2917 – SEC Opens Investigation Into Nikola; Daimler Slapped With More Diesel Fines; All-New Hyundai Tucson

September 15th, 2020 at 11:39am

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Listen to “AD #2917 – SEC Opens Investigation Into Nikola; Daimler Slapped With More Diesel Fines; All-New Hyundai Tucson” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 9:34

0:07 SEC Opens Investigation Into Nikola
0:54 CNH Announces Prototype Semi for Nikola
1:11 Daimler Slapped With More Diesel Fines
2:39 All-New Hyundai Tucson Revealed
4:09 Jaguar F-PACE Significantly Refreshed
5:24 Audi A3 Gets CNG Option
6:22 Mercedes Tests Solid-State Batteries in Bus
7:07 Automakers Still Failing IIHS Headlight Test
8:09 GMC Teases Hummer’s Crab Mode

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42 Comments to “AD #2917 – SEC Opens Investigation Into Nikola; Daimler Slapped With More Diesel Fines; All-New Hyundai Tucson”

  1. Larry D. Says:

    NO, John, GM will NOT be getting anything close to 2 … ‘billion’ of that FRAUD Nikola stock. The agreement is to get 11% of the stock, and the way the price is plummeting, it will be lucky to get a FOURTH of that amount.

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Isn’t the problem with headlights partly that they are styled, rather than being designed for function? The best headlights I ever had were Hella 7 inch round C-4s I used on my Plymouth Duster. Can you make “slit” headlights that work as well? I doubt it.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Isn’t the problem with headlights partly that they are styled, rather than being designed for function? The best headlights I ever had were Hella 7 inch round H-4s I used on my Plymouth Duster. Can you make “slit” headlights that work as well? I doubt it.

  4. Larry D. Says:

    Nikola, after its stock plummeted by 36%, issued a ‘detailed rebuttal’ to Hindenburg’s DEVASTATING Claims, BUT in fact not only it did NOT answer any of them, it reinforced them, and Hindenburg will fire its own guns in its own detailed rebuttal.

    Nikola has NO tech of its own, its agreement with GM uses all GM tech.

    In short, Nikola brings NOTHING to the table, and regardless of Barra’s claims, this is the worst Con GM was a victim of since the criminals at FIAT conned GM of several BILLION $ when they dissolved their ill-fated partnership.

    The above does NOT speak well about GM’s leadership. I wonder if they also sent a few bill to those Nigerian Princesses that infested their emails not long ago. Nikola is not much better than these crooks.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Sorry about the “almost” double post.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I suppose Hindenburg’s rant about Nikola is mostly correct, but I have a hard time taking seriously a company named after a fiery disaster, even if one of the founders of the organization is named Hindenburg (they’re probably not).

  7. Larry D. Says:

    6 It sure was not a rant, but Hind did its homework that GM SHOULD have done before partnering with the Nigerian Princess. As GM ALSO did NOT carefully read the agreement between it and FIAT, because if it did, it would NEVER had signed it.

  8. Larry D. Says:

    6 The name Hind is HILARIOUS because, just like the ill-fated Zeppelin, the fraud’s products also run on.. hydrogen. I am sure they chose it intentionally for the above, and not to honor the late German General and President.

  9. Larry D. Says:

    Here are what Hindenburg accused Nikola of, and as far as I know, neither Nikola nor GM was able to refute any of them.

    1. “falsely claiming to have extensive proprietary technology.” When it announced its deal with GM, the company said the Badger would use Ultium batteries and Hydrotec fuel cell technology, both of which will be provided by GM.

    2. In November 2019, Nikola promised it would reveal a revolutionary new battery with 500 Wh/kg that is 50 percent cheaper than current lithium-ion cells. Hindenburg says this technology would come from the “pending acquisition” of ZapGo that was called off when Nikola realized it was vaporware. The president of this company, Charles Resnick, would have conned NASA for funding and used the money to hire prostitutes.

    3. Hindenburg also accuses Nikola of not having a running prototype of any of its vehicles, and, and this is the best one,

    4. of hiring Trevor Milton’s brother, Travis, to be its “Director of Hydrogen Production/Infrastructure.” The financial research company says Travis’s experience is limited to “pouring concrete driveways and doing subcontractor work on home renovations in Hawaii.”

    #4 reminded me of the late (and not so great) Roman Emperor Caligula, who once used his imperial powers and made his beloved horse a Roman Senator. (still I bet it was better than some US Senators and former Senators I know)

    You can’t make this stuff up, folks. Thanks for the Laughs, Hindenburg. “Oh, the Humanity!”

  10. JoeS Says:

    2. My wife’s tourx has the optional headlamps and they are great. Are they as good as my old Cibie Z-beams 7” C-4s? I’d have line them up side by side. The beam pattern is almost identical and they self align.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    8. The airship ran on diesel fuel, but got its buoyancy from hydrogen.

  12. ChuckGrenci Says:

    My best headlights came from HID technology on both my STS’s; these have been around for a while but I think the cost of having to use ballasts kept them from mainstream (due to cost); but they sure were good. And I never got a flashed lights from oncoming drivers so I think while they were bright, they didn’t blind oncoming traffic.

    I’m excited to see what Hummer presents in October; not that I’m a buyer, but interested if Hummer moves the bar in electric tech much.

  13. Tom Cain Says:

    I drive a lot of very dark roads out here in the NC Outer Banks. I can confirm that the headlamps on my 2019 Silverado 1500 LD SUCK!!!

  14. GM Veteran Says:

    Interesting that Larry omitted the other half of the Hindenburg story: the author’s very large short position in Nikola. He will profit handsomely from a stock price drop, probably already has.

    So, we are supposed to take the word of a critic with a big financial incentive, and Larry, over the due diligence of GM, Bosch and several large investment groups, all of whom conducted individual reviews of the company and its products over the span of five years?

    I don’t think so. And, lets not forget some of the fantastic claims that Mr Musk has made over the years that have not really come to fruition. I am taking a wait and see position, and have realized attractive price appreciation in my Nikola stock already, even with the drops of the last couple of days.

    Now, about those rigged, diesel Mercedes models. Anyone know anyone that owns a dirty, diesel Benz?

  15. GM Veteran Says:

    I wish I had $10 for every time an automaker described their styling or lighting as “jewel-like”.

    I would love to see an organization create a scale for headlight effectiveness, so shoppers can get an idea of how good the headlights will work before they spend a couple of weeks getting used to their new vehicle. The IIHS effort is commendable, but doesn’t really provide much information to shoppers. I agree with you Sean, it is really silly for automakers to skimp on headlights. Getting poor grades on a scale would probably change that behavior in just a few model years.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15 CR rates headlights. Here is their description of what they do.

  17. Larry D. Says:

    ZF makes outstanding transmissions, not only totally reliable (in addition, the 5 sp ZF in my &40iL had lifetime transmission fluid) in my experience (had 3 vehicles with them so far, at least), but also excellent in operation, I never had to overrule their choices. So this should be an interesting AAH (unless it is a different ZF outfit that will be on)

    The next one with Munro should also be interesting. I googled the other guest and he seems to be an oldtimer with a short CV who claims he is an ‘executive’ repeatedly but never mentions the outfit he is the executive of. Maybe his one-person LLC?

  18. Larry D. Says:

    16 I tried to watch the video but could not stand the clown that interviewed the expert. DOn’t they have any results? WHich maker’s headlights were best?

  19. Roger Blose Says:

    Is it me or is the new Tucson a styling mess. There is not one panel that they could net leave alone. Lines, blisters, bulges, Mach E taillight rip offs, and more. The nice thing with this mess is that you could get a dent in the body work and no one could find it!

  20. Brett Cammack Says:


    I agree, way too much “surface excitement” (as the Japanese used to describe it) for me!

    When Sandy Munro is on, ask him about that goofy, retro 3 wheeler he just uncrated at his company. It’s on YouTube.

  21. Joe G Says:

    19 I agree completely. My first take was what the heck is this… jewel like??? More like a transformer toy. I thought the new was the old styling and then I relized that I preferred the older one.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Chrysler makes the great ZF 8-speed longitudinal, and the less great 9-speed transverse transmissions in Kokomo, Indiana. At least that’s what I’ve been told.

  23. Kevin A Says:

    Tesla’s first vehicle was just a Lotus with the ICE package replaced with batteries and electric motor. Nikola is just following what has worked in the past.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18. I didn’t watch the video, just read the text.

    Their headlight ratings are by model, as tested, so the results can vary within a car model based on whether the one they tested had bulbs, optional LEDs or gas discharge, etc. Of cars I have displayed not, the E-Class (current, not like yours) had the worst, 1 of 5, Camry, C-Class, 3 Series and Venue had 2 of 5. Prius and CT5, 3 of 5, and Kia Seltos, 4 or 5. I’ll see if I can find any that they really liked, with 5 of 5.

  25. Lambo2015 Says:

    19 I also agree that the side of the Tucson just has too much going on. Facets of a diamond? Thats a stretch, more like someone said add another crease and then someone else said why not two or three? They agreed that more was better.
    Right now it seems busy but it might grow on me, as it does have one thing going for it, it doesn’t look like every-other compact SUV. Not much else can be done to stand out in this segment.

    I find the design similar to the large grill movement. Seemed extreme at first and now just meh! So maybe its a sign of things to come.

  26. Larry D. Says:

    I cannot believe Investors and even GM and Mary Barra did not do even a few minutes of homework on not just Nikola fraud, but its very controversial CEO:


    Milton started an alarm sales company immediately after quitting college called St. George Security and Alarm and eventually exited the business for a stated $300,000, though his former business partner claims he was led to believe the exit payment was “much smaller.”[4]

    Milton then launched an online classified ads website selling used cars, which eventually failed and was then followed by Trevor’s first alternative energy vehicles company called dHybrid, Inc. dHybrid landed a truck-conversion deal with Swift Transportation, leading to a mid-2012 lawsuit predicated on dHybrid’s failure to deliver on its agreement.[5]

    dHybrid would eventually be purchased by Worthington in 2014[6] and, in 2015, Milton founded Nikola Motor Company with his brother, Travis, as the director of operations with a background in construction and remodeling.[7]

    (the clown does concrete driveways in Hawaii)

    In September 2020, two days after Nikola established ties with General Motors, short seller Hindenburg Research released a report accusing Milton and Nikola of being “an intricate fraud” over many years.

    Nikola stock fell by 8 percent that day, and fell an additional 15 percent the following day after Milton failed to deliver his rebuttal as he previously promised on Twitter.[8][9][10]

    Further verification by Bloomberg and Financial Times confirmed some of the details presented in the report.[11][12]

    As of September 12, 2020, Trevor Milton was being investigated by at least one law firm for possible fraud and, if found guilty from Hindenburg’s claims, Trevor Milton could face potential jail time and restitutions.[13

    ] On September 14, Bloomberg and the Financial Times reported that the US Department of Justice joined the SEC in the investigation related to Trevor’s securities fraud. “

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Like others, I think the Tucson looks kind of strange, different for the sake of being different, I guess. I like the interior better than those of a lot of new vehicles, though. It doesn’t have that tablet from Walmart glued to the dash look of many recent vehicles.

  28. MJB Says:

    That new Tuscon sheet metal looks like it’ll really test the skills of body shop techs when they start getting banged up in minor fender benders.

  29. joe Says:

    Read GM’s perspective about the Nikola/GM deal in the link below. Maybe the deal is more legitimate than Hindenburg claims it to be. Time will tell. Until then, I think we should not insinuate Mary Barra as being stupid. You know who I’m referring to–Mister know it all.

  30. TerryQ Says:

    I lived in France from 1999 to 2003. The taxi cabs all seemed to run on compressed natural gas. And they all also had a small gasoline tank. It’s purpose was to start the engine and get it warmed up, then quickly switch over to the cheaper CNG. So now they say that they have the gas tank for another reason? I’m skeptical.

  31. Mark Brichacek Says:

    The standard LED headlights on my 2019 Cherokee are good but my previous 2014 Dodge Dart used a halogen headlight system that moved a shutter blade in front of the high beam headlight to create the low beam light,a barely safe light output.I installed Sylvania Silver Star Ultra bulbs to make them adequate.

  32. Sean Wagner Says:

    The seminal Tesla roadster was anything but a simple transplant. While that was the initial plan, they had to extensively modify the chassis.

    The drivetrain development was quite the challenge too – so much so that Elon Musk has described the car as “a science project”.

    At one point, they were cooling the packs with ice in between test drives.

    Battery pack assembly was relocated early on from Thailand to help compress time.

    It’s really quite an interesting story. And quite a few of the early Tesla personnel went on to found or manage companies in related spaces.

  33. Larry D. Says:

    And here is (if you are counting) number 5 of Nikola’s frauds. This one is really ridiculous and shows what kind of small time, minor league crooks they are:

    Their alleged test of a semi was a FRAUD. They had it go DOWNHILL down a slope, it was NOT going on its own miserable power.

    As I said, you can’t make this stuff up, and Mary Barra and those defending Nikola are playing with fire, and their OWN careers and $22 million a year, UTTERLY UNDESERVED CEO salaries.

  34. Larry D. Says:

    Translation: The Nikola crooks cried uncle. Mary Barra better wise up to them.

  35. Larry D. Says:

    This is a link for my post #32, in case some incorrigibles out there did not take my word for it. ( You should. My colleagues say about me, if I say the sky is GREEN, you don’t need to check it out, it WILL be Green.)

  36. Larry D. Says:

    And this one. Because of the Hindenburg Report and the SEC involvement, Nikola’s shares now have erased all their undeserved gains since going public.

  37. Larry D. Says:

    And this from Autoblog

    “..Hindenburg took a stab at Nikola and its founder Trevor Milton’s use of words like “functional” and “fully built” for the Nikola One truck, which the company claimed had 1,000 horsepower back in 2016.

    “Obviously, the truck can’t have 1,000 horsepower or even 1 horsepower if it doesn’t power itself,” Hindenburg said in the new report.

    Hindenburg alleged that the seemingly functional truck, Nikola One, was “simply filmed rolling down a big hill” in 2017, a claim Nikola responded to by saying it had never stated that the truck was driving “under its own propulsion.” (Video below.)

    “We view the company’s new admission that the Nikola One was not powered on its own in the video as a tacit admission of securities fraud,” the report added…”

    Open your eyes, Mary Barra, and see with what dishonest clowns you made a deal with. And as if this is not enough, GM is ready to waste more billions, this time on ‘pie in the sky’ flying auto-taxis or whatever. How do you spell Bankrupt 2.0?

  38. Lambo2015 Says:

    Colleagues: Definition;
    Co-workers/acquaintances (not friends or want to be considered friends, Ones that are forced to deal with an insufferable ego maniac. Sometimes even stroking the ego to appear polite and then go laugh about it in private.
    Example; Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi are colleagues.

  39. Joe Says:

    You have to be a nut job to think GM is heading for bankruptcy. Here’s what GM is really headed for. GM’s set forward years ago, a plan knowing batteries would one day be worthy of EV’s and the plan is ready to be implemented.
    GM is really the leader in EV’s and soon that will be largely acknowledge by the media.

    One thing Mr “know it all” knows is this is true and is why he hates GM so much.

    Good luck Tesla. Hope you still stay in business because you are an American company.

  40. JWH Says:

    Headlights – All headlights sold in the U.S. must meet FMVSS 108 which take a long time to be revised (look how long the ancient sealed beams were the standard).

    Having worked for an OEM lighting supplier for a number of years, I don’t believe the OEM’s are scrimping on their cost, however, OEM’s do like to review to headlamps as jewels on the front end, & they pay a lot of attention to the styling. Again – Auto lighting is required to meet FMVSS 108 which is where lighting performance needs to start.

  41. Lambo2015 Says:

    I will probably re-post this in todays ALD because I know not many people go back and look at yesterdays comments. But this right here could be a huge game changer for batteries.

  42. joe Says:

    You are absolutely right. Elon Musk should be in jail for his deceptions and continuous lies. If anyone lied to manipulate the market, it’s him. What Nikola has done is peanuts compared to Tesla.