Ford Motor Company has made a major investment in Rivian, a Michigan-based electric vehicle producer that made waves at last year's Los Angeles Auto Show with its striking, long-range, all-electric R1S SUV and the R1T pickup truck.
The Blue Oval is pouring $500 million into the brand and has confirmed via an official release that it will develop an exclusive, new electric vehicle from a Rivian platform. According to Ford, this new vehicle will exist in addition to its current battery electric plans, which include an all-electric, Mustang-inspired crossover and an electrified F-150 pickup.
During a conference call with reporters, Ford confirmed that Rivian will assemble the skateboard platform at its Normal, Illinois factory, but that the Blue Oval would handle production. The automaker didn't go so far as to say where final assembly would be or for what brand or market it would compete in. But the two companies confirmed that the Ford vehicle wouldn't necessarily compete with Rivian's entries.
Ford’s Joe Hinrichs is also set to join Rivian’s board of directors as part agreement.
“Ford has a long-standing commitment to sustainability, with Bill Ford being one of the industry's earliest advocates, and we are excited to use our technology to get more electric vehicles on the road," Rivian boss RJ Scaringe (above, left) said.
In a conference call with reporters, Scaringe confirmed his company had discussed partnerships with other automakers. Rumors had put GM in the running, and Scaringe said there could be applications with other partners down the road, but that it was focused on executing with Ford. As for Ford's partnership with Volkswagen, the Blue Oval says it won't have an impact. According to Hinrichs, Rivian's skateboard platform and VW's MEB architecture help the company in different areas.
It's still early days for this partnership, but following its alliance with Volkswagen, Ford's investment in Rivian is yet another reminder of how serious the company is about pushing into electrification.
RIVIAN ANNOUNCES $500 MILLION INVESTMENT FROM FORD; PARTNERSHIP TO DELIVER ALL-NEW FORD BATTERY ELECTRIC VEHICLE
Ford and Rivian form strategic partnership through $500 million minority investment
Ford to build all-new battery electric vehicle using Rivian’s flexible skateboard platform
The investment is subject to customary regulatory approval; Ford’s Joe Hinrichs to join Rivian’s board of directors
DEARBORN, Mich., April 24, 2019 – Rivian today announced an equity investment of $500 million from Ford Motor Company. In addition to the investment, the companies have agreed to work together to develop an all-new, next-generation battery electric vehicle for Ford’s growing EV portfolio using Rivian’s skateboard platform.
“This strategic partnership marks another key milestone in our drive to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility,” said RJ Scaringe, Rivian founder and CEO. “Ford has a long-standing commitment to sustainability, with Bill Ford being one of the industry's earliest advocates, and we are excited to use our technology to get more electric vehicles on the road.”
“We are excited to invest in and partner with Rivian,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman.
“I have gotten to know and respect RJ, and we share a common goal to create a sustainable
future for our industry through innovation.”
Rivian already has developed two clean-sheet vehicles with adventurers at the core of every design and engineering decision. The company’s launch products – the five-passenger R1T pickup and seven-passenger R1S SUV – will deliver up to 400-plus miles of range and provide an unmatched combination of performance, off-road capability and utility, starting in late 2020.
“As we continue in our transformation of Ford with new forms of intelligent vehicles and
propulsion, this partnership with Rivian brings a fresh approach to both,” said Jim Hackett, Ford president and CEO. “At the same time, we believe Rivian can benefit from Ford’s industrial expertise and resources.”
Ford intends to develop a new vehicle using Rivian’s flexible skateboard platform. This is in addition to Ford’s existing plans to develop a portfolio of battery electric vehicles. As part of its previously announced $11 billion EV investment, Ford already has confirmed two key fully electric vehicles: a Mustang-inspired crossover coming in 2020 and a zero-emissions version of the best-selling F-150 pickup.
Rivian remains an independent company. The investment is subject to customary regulatory approval. Following Ford’s investment, Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of Automotive, will join Rivian’s seven-member board.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 199,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.
Rivian is developing vehicles, technology and services that inspire people to get out and explore the world. Rivian has development centers in Plymouth, Mich.; San Jose, Calif.; Irvine, Calif.; and Surrey, England; along with a 2.6-million-square-foot manufacturing plant in Normal, Ill. Rivian will launch the R1T and R1S in the U.S. in late 2020, with introduction to other global geographies starting in 2021. Rivian is now accepting preorders on its R1T and R1S. More information is available at www.rivian.com.