Nikola names Michael Lohscheller as next CEO

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Nikola's logo is pictured at an event held to present CNH's new full-electric and Hydrogen fuel-cell battery trucks in partnership with U.S. Nikola event in Turin
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(Reuters) - Nikola Corp said on Wednesday that Michael Lohscheller will take over as the electric-truck maker's chief executive officer when Mark Russell retires on Jan. 1 next year.

Lohscheller, who joined the company in February, will take over as president from Russell and join Nikola's board effective immediately, the company said.

Lohscheller, 53, was instrumental in Tre battery electric vehicles' production and in achieving development milestones for the Tre fuel-cell electric vehicles, the company said.

Nikola, which aims to manufacture between 300 and 500 Tre battery electric trucks this year, stuck to its production target last week after its second-quarter revenue beat estimates.

Lohscheller was the CEO of German automaker Adam Opel AG from conglomerate Stellantis NV's stable and briefly served as Vietnamese car maker VinFast's global top boss before taking on the role of Nikola Motor's president.

Lohscheller has improved communication and accelerated decision-making at Nikola Motor, Chairman Stephen Girsky said in a statement.

Russell, 59, replaced Nikola Founder Trevor Milton, accused of defrauding investors by lying about the company, as CEO in 2020.

Shares in Nikola rose 2.7% before the bell on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)