That Lincoln Rivian SUV Thing Ain’t Gonna Happen
Ford has pulled the plug on a Rivian based pure electric Lincoln SUV citing the coronavirus pandemic as the main culprit behind the decision. The Lincoln brand is Ford’s luxury vehicle division. No specific details were given as to why the pandemic led to the cancelation. Ford intends to go it alone and develop a fully electric Lincoln SUV, they will retain Rivian’s services who will act as consultants. Rivian received a $500 million USD injection of cash from Ford last year. The EV startup is cash-rich having also received a $700 million USD investment from Jeff Bezos around the same time last year.
Ford intended to develop an electric vehicle using Rivian’s proprietary technology, a so-called skateboard platform that houses a battery pack and electric motor. Rivian was due to launch it’s very own Pickup Truck and SUV later this year. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed back the release date to Q1 2021.
Rivian was founded in 2009 and now employ’s over 2,000 people across America. Consider this, it may well be that Ford bought their way onto the Rivian board to gain access to Rivian’s technological road map. In other words, Ford paid $500 million USD to effect a corporate espionage campaign against Rivian using the investment as a front to cover their real intentions.
But was that $500 million USD well spent? Yes, if Ford develops its own technology-based on Rivian’s Electric Vehicle platform they have already saved billions in development costs. Then they could earn billions more in future sales as auto manufacturers transition from ICE cars to EVs.
When it comes to Ford there really is no honor among thieves. Or it could just be elaborate thinking on our part.