Ford acquires a $500 million minority stake in the Rivian start-up, which remains an independent company. The investment is subject to regulatory approval. The duo has also agreed that Ford will use Rivian’s platform for a future electric vehicle.
This news comes just one day after the Bloomberg release, after which negotiations between Rivian and GM over a stake by the big US carmaker failed – according to the news agency because Rivian General Motors did not want to grant exclusivity. Ford does not seem to be making this claim. CEO Jim Hackett says that the partnership brings new approaches for both sides. Ford could push its transformation through new forms of intelligent vehicles and drives, “at the same time we believe that Rivian can benefit from Ford’s industrial expertise and resources.”
Specifically, Ford intends to develop a new vehicle with Rivian’s flexible skateboard platform. The carmaker sees this model as an extra to the existing electric vehicle plans. For example, there will be a Mustang-inspired, all-electric crossover in 2020 and an emission-free version of the F-150 pickup. The Americans are not afraid to invest: Some time ago, Ford adopted an electrification strategy that envisages pumping eleven billion dollars into electrified vehicles, including purely electric models and plug-in hybrids, by 2022. At the beginning of the month, the company also launched its e-strategies for Europe and China.
And Rivian? The electric car manufacturer, for its part, has gained an extra portion of self-confidence with a 700 million dollar financing round led by Amazon and recently announced that it intends to expand its squad to six pickups and SUVs of various sizes by 2025 and also to produce electric vehicles for other companies. As the company’s debut electric car, the R1T, which was presented at the LA Auto Show in late November, is scheduled to go on sale in autumn 2020.