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Ford Invests $500 Million in Electric Truckmaker Rivian

Scaringe, 36, has clinched the deal with Ford after spurning a potential partnership with General Motors Co. While the two companies discussed GM buying an equity stake in Rivian, the negotiations reached an impasse and appear to have collapsed, Bloomberg News reported earlier.

Rivian has six vehicles planned by 2025—and that’s just the models that will be sold under its own brand. The company has been taking $1,000 deposits for the R1T pickup and R1S SUV, with deliveries slated to start in the fall of 2020.

‘Smart Move’

Ford also has been in talks with Volkswagen AG about tapping the world’s largest automaker for its electric-car platform, dubbed MEB. It now has several options to develop EVs: possibly working with VW on smaller cars and crossovers, with Rivian on larger SUVs and trucks, and engineering models on its own, said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst with car-shopping researcher Autotrader.

“They can multitask,” Krebs said by phone. “This is a smart move for both companies. Ford has been talking about electric vehicles, specifically pickup trucks. You can also imagine commercial vans.”



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Ford has flirted with partnering with an electric-vehicle startup before. Bloomberg News reported in July 2017 that the company had held early-stage takeover talks with Lucid Motors. Ford Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett confirmed last year that the company “looked at” Lucid, without elaborating.

Hackett, 64, said on a conference call Wednesday that the deal with Rivian won’t interfere with Ford’s talks with VW. He said he was impressed with Rivian’s “clean-sheet approach.”

“They were not coming from what we would call the analog world,” Hackett said. “They were inventing.”

by Keith Naughton and David Welch

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