Ford Motor puts $500 million into electric pickup producer Rivian
(Reuters) – Ford Motor said on Wednesday it was investing $500 million (£387 million) in U.S. electric pickup truck startup Rivian Automotive LLC, becoming the latest deep pocket investor in the firm, which is seen as a potential rival to Silicon Valley’s Tesla Inc.
Like Tesla, Plymouth, Michigan-based Rivian has drawn enthusiastic reviews from the motoring press for its trucks and the deal with Ford follows a $700 million investment from e-commerce giant Amazon in February. (https://reut.rs/2vi3WlF)
Ford and other major automakers including General Motors have been boosting investment in the development of electric vehicles (EV) as Tesla and others eat into new car sales encouraged by regulators’ efforts to encourage a move away from fossil fuels.
GM was previously reported https://www.reuters.com/article/us-rivian-electric-amazon-com-gm-exclusi/amazon-gm-in-talks-to-invest-in-electric-pickup-truck-maker-rivian-sources-idUSKCN1Q12PV to be seeking a minority stake in Rivian.
Ford’s said its investment in Rivian is separate from the No.2 U.S. automaker’s previously announced $11 billion investment in EVs, which include 40 hybrid and fully electric vehicles in its model lineup by 2022.
Pickup trucks like Ford’s F-150, along with similarly big-wheeled SUVs have replaced traditional sedans as Americans’ vehicle of choice over the past decade, and Tesla has not officially announced plans to launch one of the vehicles.
“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,” Ford Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett said.
“At the same time, we believe Rivian can benefit from Ford’s industrial expertise and resources.”
Ford and Rivian will jointly develop a new battery electric vehicle using Rivian’s platform.
A Ford representative will also join the seven-member board of Rivian.
(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)