Ford and Rivian already killed off whatever the Lincoln-Rivian electric SUV not long after the pandemic took hold, but the companies had also planned on making another car together beyond that, too. Except, according to a new report, that car is dead in the water, too.
Automotive News got the scoop straight from the horse’s mouth, in an interview published Friday:
“Right now, we have growing confidence in our ability to win in the electric space,” [Ford CEO Jim Farley] said in an interview Thursday. “When you compare today with when we originally made that investment, so much has changed: about our ability, about the brand’s direction in both cases, and now it’s more certain to us what we have to do. We want to invest in Rivian — we love their future as a company — but at this point we’re going to develop our own vehicles.”
Rivian, in a statement, said the companies “mutually decided to focus on our own projects and deliveries” as demand for each of their EVs has grown. “Our relationship with Ford is an important part of our journey,” Rivian said, “and Ford remains an investor and ally on our shared path to an electrified future.”
One factor Farley cited in the decision is the complexity that would be required to marry another company’s electric architecture with embedded software developed in-house by Ford.
“We have slightly different business models,” he said. “We like what they’re doing, but we’re going to go our separate ways.”
The decision by Ford appears to be both a recognition that any collaboration would be unnecessarily complicated and also a sign of Ford’s increasing confidence in its own EV strategy, with Farley also saying this week that he hoped to increase Ford EV production capacity to 600,000 vehicles annually in the next two years.
It is also possible that Rivian’s initial public offering last week — Rivian’s current valuation is over $109 billion, while Ford’s is around $77 billion — gave Rivian the confidence that it didn’t need Ford’s help.
At any rate, this is all too bad, since I would’ve liked to have seen what Ford and Rivian built together, since it had a high chance of being weird. Alas.