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Could Nikola Be a Winning Auto Stock?

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Nikola hasn't had the smoothest ride so far, but what about the future?

Nikola (NKLA -12.14%) hasn't exactly been a home-run stock for investors, but could it still have potential to deliver great returns in the future? In this Fool Live video clip, recorded on Nov. 22, contributors John Rosevear and Jason Hall discuss Nikola's future growth potential and whether it's worth a look.

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John Rosevear: My take on Nikola is once they got past the whole Trevor debacle, they brought in some real managers and are trying to execute on a revised version of their original plan. They are making progress. They do have prototype trucks up and running. What I ask is, where is their special sauce? They're buying batteries and fuel cells from General Motors, which GM will be delighted to sell to anybody else. You're a fleet operator, you operate 300 coast-to-coast trucks. You have access to a hydrogen network and so forth. You are looking for your next 50 fuel cell trucks. Are you going to call Nikola or are you going to call Freightliner?

Jason Hall: Yeah.

Rosevear: Or Peterbilt or whoever you've been buying trucks firm that for the last 20 years? Because all of these guys are going to have a broadly similar product within a few years. That is my question with Nikola. Yeah, they're executing. They're getting closer to delivering on the realistic retake of their promises that they set after Trevor left. There is a real business there. But why them over one of the existing players in an industry where these are fleet operators, where relationships matter a whole lot and knowing that the company is going to be around in five to 10 years to service and supply parts for your fleet is really important?

Hall: Notoriously risk-averse industry. They get low-single-digit operating margin. There's a lot setting against this company, John, you're 100% right.

Rosevear: Absolutely. It's what is my total cost of ownership and what can I earn against that? That is the calculation there. If it's six in one, half a dozen of the other, they're going to go with the distributor they know. That's probably Freightliner, Peterbilt, or whoever.

Jason Hall owns shares of Nikola Corporation. John Rosevear owns shares of General Motors. Matthew Frankel, CFP® owns shares of General Motors. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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