By on April 28, 2020

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Rivian and Ford Motor Co. are nixing plans to deliver a jointly developed Lincoln EV. Despite Lincoln President Joy Falotico saying the model would deliver one of the most tranquil and luxurious driving experiences on the planet back in January, Lincoln told dealers on Tuesday that development would be scrapped.

Ford invested $500 million in Rivian last year. The collaborative project was intended to deliver a high-end, battery driven vehicle built on the “skateboard” platform underpinning Rivian’s R1T pickup and R1S SUV. Had the project not been taken behind the shed and shot this week, an assumed mid-size Lincoln crossover would have arrived in 2022.

Official reasons given for the cancellation thus far include naming the coronavirus pandemic and shrugging.

According to Automotive News, the rationale issued to dealers was simply the “current environment.” When pressed for clarification, Ford said that it remains committed to the EV startup and ensuring that electric vehicles are added to Lincoln’s lineup. It also noted it still wants to use Rivian’s skateboard platform on another vehicle.

Why it can’t be the vehicle initially planned is up for debate. While the health/economic crisis has certainly delayed a number of product launches, this is the first outright product cancellation we’ve seen.

From Automotive News:

The Bronco Sport, an Escape-sized off-roader, will start rolling off assembly lines at Ford’s Hermosillo, Mexico, plant on Sept. 7, nearly 60 days after the original July 13 target, according to supplier information obtained by Automotive News.

It’s unclear how the virus has impacted other vehicles, including the upcoming Bronco SUV, F-150 pickup and Mustang Mach-E crossover.

Ford CEO Jim Hackett, speaking last month on a Detroit radio station, said the virus was not likely to have a significant impact on the launch of some of Ford’s biggest models.

“It’s had an effect, but it’s not going to dampen our spirits about how all these great new things have to come to market,” Hackett said. “If they’re a month or six weeks late, I don’t think anyone would think we fumbled there because of the virus.”

Before we place all of the blame on Ford, Rivian has also had to delay production of its own products on account of the coronavirus. In April, spokesperson Amy Mast said the brand’s product launch would have to be pushed back until 2021. With no “skateboard” to build a Lincoln body atop of, Ford may have simply not liked the shape of things and pulled off to ask itself the $500-million question of how it intends to work around that. Cash burned during the automaker’s production shutdown, combined with virus-stricken sales, can’t be ruled out as a motivating factor for shelving the project.

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

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26 Comments on “Lincoln-Rivian EV Project Cancelled...”

  • avatar
    Shockrave Flash Has Crashed

    There is not a lot of excitement in that brand. This seems like a mistake.

  • avatar

    I guess they saw Moore’s “The Planet of the Humans”

    EVs are not green or environmentally sound.

    Never liked Moore but he certainly skewered the green profiteers and their fake environmentalism

    watch it

  • avatar

    Wow, that was fast.

    Me thinks this was teetering or gonna be canceled regardless. Otherwise with Corona they would have just said it was postponed 6 months or something.

    But this sounds like over and done and not coming back. I can’t imagine 6 weeks of coronavirus is the cause of something like this.

    • 0 avatar

      The Rivian platform is now available for Chrysler to swoop in and make something amazing with. They need models for the showroom, and a reason for foot traffic.
      You heard it here first!

  • avatar

    I wonder if Ford gets to recoup the $500 Mil?

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    When your hearth is not fully into a relationship, the first difficulty and you bail out.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The CV excuse is convenient, but not true.

    Here’s the truth about the ‘current environment’:

    Ford belatedly figured out that they couldn’t compete with Tesla’s volume, and therefore, this low-volume EV would be a money loser throughout the entire product run.

    In 2019, Tesla outsold Lincoln nearly 2:1, so having a niche Lincoln EV that has to sell for $80k+ would have been poison to the bottom line. By comparison, the Mach-E has a maybe-chance of success.

    It also makes me wonder if Rivian really doesn’t have their theoretical battery prices under control. I wish them well, but there are a lot of hopes and dreams being pinned on a company that has never built a single vehicle.

  • avatar

    Rivian much like Elio will remain right around the corner up until even the most vocal supporters forget its existence and a couple people quietly slip off the radar with a couple million in stow.

  • avatar

    Ford also has no extra cash to spare, as they continue to make very little money, pay lots of executives big bucks, and cut their product offerings.

    • 0 avatar

      That 5b loss for 2nd quarter is not chimp change.

      Start the Ford deathwatch!

      • 0 avatar

        Something’s gotta give; they’ve already cut all the extraneous out of their product.

        • 0 avatar

          The pictures of the refreshed F150 look promising – less Tonka-toy like and a little more serious with a better interior.
          But the reviews are in and the new Escape seems to be a regression, the Ecosport…no comment, the Edge is approaching elderly in model years, and has the new Explorer taken off? When you gut your model line and remove everything but the Mustang that isn’t elevated, you better have the best products out there to ride through some rough patches.

          Can’t say Ford has that right now. I agree. They are headed towards serious trouble.

  • avatar

    I am shocked. SHOCKED!!!
    So now it’s 2021 for the Rivian pickup that they managed to price before it was designed?
    And by early 2021 will it be delayed until 2022?
    Where is my Elio Motors three wheeled death trap? Because the web site says it’s the next big thing, still.
    Perhaps Rivian and Elio Motors could join forces? And merge with Lordstown Motors! I think a three wheeled electric pickup would be a hit – there would be nothing like it! And since neither Burns nor Elio have ever put in an honest days work in their lives they should get along just fine.

  • avatar

    Another Tesla killer is declared dead. LOL.

  • avatar

    Lol at anyone that thinks Tesla and their fashion accessories had anything to do with this.

    Major automakers laugh at Tesla. It would be wasted energy to take them seriously. They build garbage and do not make a profit. Why would anyone give Tesla a second thought.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      In fact, Tesla is barely profitable.

      That’s the point. You don’t have to like Tesla to realize that they have demonstrated what it takes to be profitable. If it was easier to be profitable with EVs, someone would do so.

      There is laughter, but you’re not getting the joke. Tesla’s “fashion accessories” are outselling Lincoln’s fashion accessories almost 2:1.

      • 0 avatar

        “ There is laughter, but you’re not getting the joke. Tesla’s “fashion accessories” are outselling Lincoln’s fashion accessories almost 2:1.”

        Right I’m sure they are.

        Elon reporting sales numbers is like China reporting Corona cases.

        You’d think if those sales numbers were real they would make a few bucks. But they don’t. They still have to rely on selling carbon credits to legitimate auto makers to keep the lights on.

        Maybe Tesla is the old GM. Profits be damned just get those volumes up. That will show em!

    • 0 avatar

      @EBFlex: Lol at anyone that thinks Tesla and their fashion accessories had anything to do with this.

      Yeah, I think the fashion accessories, t-shirts and other stuff are kind of expensive and not sure how they would have any impact on ford. The die cast cars are kind of cool though.

      Actually, they’re not laughing at them. If you’ve taken the time to watch the Munro disassemblies and analysis you’d see how they’ve made improvements that go beyond their EV technology. Still haven’t fixed the quality issues, but that can be repaired. Unlike Japanese styling issues and design issues at other manufacturers.

      They’ve also just received their patent for battery tech capable of 4,000 cycles. On a 300 mile range car, that’s 1.2 million miles. Which hopefully means you can abuse the crap out of the battery and still have it outlast the body.

      Why would anyone give Tesla a second thought? Their supercharger network is pretty good. That’s one thing over other manufacturers. For me, I’m looking for a 500+ hp AWD vehicle that with some work by an aftermarket tuner will be a decent track car as well. I can also do daily driver duty with it. All without the reliability issue and maintenance of a german car. Some of the more recent dyno runs I’ve seen have it at 580 hp. It’s doing well on the track too:

  • avatar

    Rivian was an uninspired joke…how about you get to space first and then come talk about making a piddly little terrestrial go kart….

  • avatar

    This “current environment” rap doesn’t hold much water for a vehicle that wasn’t going to be released for 2 more years. So they barely started on it, and now it’s cancelled.

  • avatar

    “When we don’t keep a promise to someone, it communicates to that person that we don’t value him or her. We have chosen to put something else ahead of our commitment. Even when we break small promises, others learn that they cannot count on us. Tiny fissures develop in our relationships marked by broken promises.”

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