Ford and Rivian have both scrapped plans to jointly develop an electric vehicle
The two companies have mutually decided to focus on their own projects
Rivian has been in the headlines a lot lately, for both good and bad reasons. The good reason is that its IPO has been incredibly successful, boosting the value of the company up massively. The bad reason is that it's been embroiled in a scandal that was triggered when a former high-ranking employee of the company decided to file a lawsuit against it, alleging "gender discrimination and retaliation". Now it looks like Ford, one of Rivian's chief investors, has decided to scale back its involvement with the company. It's been announced that both companies have mutually decided to scrap plans to jointly develop an electric vehicle, choosing instead to focus on their own projects.
"Right now, we have growing confidence in our ability to win in the electric space," Ford's CEO Jim Farley said to Automotive News. "When you compare today with when we originally made that investment, so much has changed: about our ability, about the brand's direction in both cases, and now it's more certain to us what we have to do." Rivian also released a statement of its own, saying that "as Ford has scaled its own EV strategy and demand for Rivian vehicles has grown, we’ve mutually decided to focus on our own projects and deliveries."
Ford will now instead be focusing on increasing electric vehicle production across the globe. The Detroit-based manufacturer aims to be producing 600,000 EVs annually by 2023. This is something that will hopefully make Ford fully competitive with the EVs from other big global manufacturers such as General Motors, BMW, Stellantis and Tesla. Ford is also working closely with the Volkswagen Group, using VW's new MEB architecture to provide a basis for the next generation of Ford's commercial vehicles. The new Ford Tourneo Connect, based on the latest version of the Volkswagen Caddy, has already been unveiled this year and Ford is aiming to launch an MEB-based electric car by 2023.
However, Ford is still willing to invest in Rivian going forward. "We love their future as a company, but at this point, we’re going to develop our own vehicles," said Farley. "We have slightly different business models... We like what they’re doing, but we’re going to go our separate ways." Rivian also backed this up in its own statement by saying that "Our relationship with Ford is an important part of our journey, and Ford remains an investor and ally on our shared path to an electrified future."
This follows on from the cancellation last year of a project that would have seen Ford and Rivian collaborate to produce a brand new EV that would be sold under the Lincoln brand. This project was axed due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which made developing such a big project alongside the other projects both companies were already involved in financially unviable.