Shares of electric-vehicle maker Lucid Group (LCID 3.28%) opened sharply lower on Monday after the company disclosed in a regulatory filing that it received a subpoena for documents from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). As of 11:00 a.m. ET, Lucid's shares were down about 8.3% from Friday's closing price.
In an 8-K filed on Monday morning, Lucid disclosed that it received a subpoena from the SEC on Dec. 3 that requested documents "related to an investigation" by the Commission. Lucid said that the SEC's investigation appears to concern "certain projections and statements" related to the merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that took Lucid public in July.
To be clear, we have no reason right now to believe that Lucid engaged in any wrongdoing. But it's not hard to see why the stock is down today: The examples of Nikola (NKLA -6.62%) and Lordstown Motors (RIDE -3.46%), both of which fell sharply after investigations showed that they had exaggerated the state of their technologies and demand for their upcoming products, loom large in electric-vehicle investors' minds.
Lucid is different from Nikola and Lordstown in one hugely important respect: It's actually shipping a product that delivers on its promises. Lucid made bold claims around the Air's range and performance that might have been suspect before the car went into production, but independent testers have now verified the claims.
Is it possible that the SEC will find some reason to charge the company based on other claims in its pre-merger investor materials? Sure. But with actual cars being delivered to actual happy customers, my sense is that Lucid appears safe on the key claims that would matter to the long-term health of the business.