DEARBORN, Mich. -- Ford Motor Co. and Rivian Automotive Inc. last week said they have scrapped plans to develop an electric vehicle together on the EV startup's platform as both automakers work to expand their production of EVs.
Rivian made a splash recently on Wall Street with the biggest initial public offering of the year, surpassing the market capitalizations of traditional competitors like Ford. But the Dearborn automaker says it is confident it has what it needs to be an EV leader by developing its own vehicles.
"Over a period of time, obviously, Rivian has done some extensive and impressive developments of its technology, and Ford has done likewise," Ford spokesman TR Reid said. "They have a pretty ambitious vehicle out there, and we have two high-volume vehicles and others to follow. As things have evolved, we decided what is best for us and to proceed from there."
Ford offers the all-electric, Mexico-built Mustang Mach-E SUV and is assembling the electric F-150 Lightning pickup in Dearborn. Irvine, California-based Rivian in September began delivering its R1T pickup from its plant in Normal, Ill., where it also will assemble SUVs and delivery vans.
"We've decided it's best to further develop separately," Reid said. "They obviously have got lots of confidence in their platform and rightly so, as they've amassed orders for their first vehicle. We like the direction that the Ford team is headed and the progress it has made. We believe our respective capabilities is the way to go."
It's the second time Ford and the EV startup have shredded developments plans. Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, the companies in April 2020 said they were no longer collaborating on an EV for Ford's Lincoln luxury brand.
"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," Rivian spokeswoman Miranda Jimenez said in a statement.
Still, the "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."
Ford had a 12% stake in Rivan when it went public on Nov. 12, increasing the value of its stake to more than $10 billion at the time — a hefty return on the Blue Oval's investment of more than $820 million into the startup. Rivian shares are up 65% since then.
"We have been impressed by the work by (Rivian CEO) RJ Scaringe, and the work they are doing since we first made our investment," Reid said. "There will be multiple winners with customers."
Automotive News first reported the end of the collaboration. Despite the scrapped plans, Ford still intends to double its EV capacity to 600,000 vehicles globally within two years and become the No. 2 EV maker behind Tesla Inc., Reid confirmed.
"That is within the next couple of years, but that would be a point in time," he said. "The goal is to be the bona fide leader in the space. No. 2 is not the ambition."
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