Tag: Rivian

By on June 24, 2020

Following reports that Rivian might decide to move a large portion of its operations out of Michigan, news has reached us that it’s all but abandoning the Mitten State for sunny California.

Starting its life as Avera Motors in Florida back in 2009, the EV startup moved to Plymouth, Michigan in 2015 to poach talent from the Big Three and lay down some roots. However, the company doesn’t appear to have wormed its way into the soil all that deeply. It now plans to move a sizable portion of its operations to Irvine, California, with some employees heading to its plant in Normal, Illinois, to prepare for production.

This has got to be a slap in the face for some Michigan residents, since many were instrumental in the development of Rivian’s first models. The business fired a gaggle of people at its engineering and design center near Detroit at the start of June, only to slot in a couple of high-paid executives. Now it’s starting to look like it may pull up stakes and skip town. (Read More…)

By on May 1, 2020

On Friday, Ford Motor Co. announced Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr’s daughter would immediately join Rivian’s board of directors. In 2019, the automaker dumped $500 million into the electric vehicle startup with aims to build a new Lincoln product using its “skateboard” platform. That plan was scrapped earlier this week, leaving us wondering what that meant for the partnership.

The Blue Oval has since reaffirmed its commitment to use Rivian’s hardware on another project, and now has this marriage of state (or whatever the more tepid modern equivalent would be) with Mr. Ford’s daughter.

Alexandra Ford English has a fairly brief professional history within the automotive industry. She’s been with Ford since 2017, moving from an MBA intern to working within the automaker’s mobility program. She was made director of autonomous vehicles that same year and was later promoted to director of corporate strategy in February of 2020.  (Read More…)

By on April 30, 2020

Image: Lincoln

Ford bought its way into Rivian’s good graces — and its proprietary “skateboard” electric vehicle platform — with a $500 million pledge back in April of 2019. In January we learned that the “all-new, next-generation battery electric vehicle” promised a year earlier would wear a Lincoln badge, with most observers expecting that model to appear as a midsize, three-row SUV (mirroring Rivian’s own R1S).

Scratch all that, Ford Motor Company said on Tuesday. The joint vehicle is off the table, but the relationship is still on. So what now? (Read More…)

By on April 28, 2020

lincoln navigator grille badge lincoln logo

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.

(Read More…)

By on April 10, 2020

Rivian, the future builder of powerful electric pickups and SUVs (and secret parent to an upcoming Lincoln), hoped to have the first of its production models in buyers’ hands before the end of the year. Both the R1T pickup and R1S SUV were on track to roll out of the fledgling automaker’s Normal, Illinois assembly plant in the second half of 2020, reaching consumers just before New Year’s Eve (R1T) and not long after (R1S).

Well, that schedule’s seen a bit of tweaking. Care to hazard a guess why? (Read More…)

By on March 10, 2020

Colorado has been considering allowing automakers to sell electric vehicles directly to consumers, but pushback from dealerships complicated things. Senate Bill 167 was intended to level the playing field against Tesla, which already engaged in direct sales, by opening up the door for rival electric vehicle manufacturers to similarly bypass the dealership model.

However, dealer groups noticed the language in the bill effectively permitted any automaker producing EVs to engage in direct sales, Naturally, they cried foul. The bill had its final legislative hearing on Monday, and its new language identifies a difference between a legacy automaker with existing storefronts and EV firms without them.  (Read More…)

By on February 24, 2020

With production of its R1T pickup scheduled to commence later this year, upstart EV maker Rivian is aiming to get its products into as many states as possible, even if it means challenging dealer franchise laws. Following the R1T’s debut, the R1S three-row SUV will arrive to bolster Rivian’s emissions-free game.

In Colorado, where a bill seeking to allow direct sales via OEM-owned stores cleared a Senate committee last week, Rivian hopes to secure a victory — then replicate it in other protectionist states. (Read More…)

By on January 29, 2020

It seems $500 million buys you a new Lincoln model, at the very least.

Ford Motor Company’s half-billion-dollar investment in electric vehicle startup Rivian will indeed spawn a new Lincoln model, the automaker announced Wednesday. At the same time, Lincoln confirmed that the midsize MKZ sedan won’t live to see the end of the year. (Read More…)

By on January 27, 2020

Despite offering a choice of battery sizes, Rivian’s R1T pickup, scheduled for production late this year, was not revealed under a banner of affordable green motoring. Nor was the R1S SUV that followed it. The Michigan-based startup’s first vehicles instead wowed onlookers with their tech prowess and capability — four hub motors, an innovative platform, and a maximum range of 400 miles — and prices that were fairly comparable with existing high-zoot pickups and SUVs.

Carrying a starting price of $69,000 at its debut, the R1T is now said to be in line for a price drop. Same goes for the R1S. (Read More…)

By on December 26, 2019

An electric vehicle platform many can’t wait to get their hands on continues to make Rivian the upstart automaker to watch. The fledgling, Michigan-based automaker just closed a $1.3 billion investment round led by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. — pushing the company’s 2019 take to $2.8 billion.

With two utility vehicles on the way and a pledge to license its EV architecture to anyone willing to pay for it, Rivian’s big-buck backing from the likes of Ford, Amazon, and Cox Automotive was just the start. (Read More…)

By on November 27, 2019

Image: Lincoln

Rivian, the Michigan-based EV startup with big plans for its R1S SUV and R1T pickup, isn’t bashful about making its “skateboard” electric vehicle platform available to rivals. At Ford, that skateboard may soon appear below a new Lincoln vehicle, a new report claims.

Ford raised eyebrows earlier this year when it sunk $500 million into the upstart EV maker, with the Blue Oval claiming the investment paves the way for an “all-new, next-generation battery electric vehicle.” That vehicle is apparently now taking shape. (Read More…)

By on November 22, 2019

Lordstown Motors

From the Mustang Mach-E to the Cybertruck in a matter of days. What a week it’s been. While the verdict is still coming in on Tesla’s, um, interesting take on an electric pickup, an auto giant and an upstart automaker that just bought a big assembly plant are happy to offer an alternative.

Of course, neither General Motors nor Lordstown Motors have a physical, production-ready pickup to show you, but many would argue Tesla doesn’t, either. Yet both rival EV pickups are on the way, the companies claim. One’s already taking pre-orders. (Read More…)

By on September 30, 2019

Rivian, the Michigan-based startup that aims to get electric pickups and SUVs into the hands of consumers starting late next year, may choose a controversial avenue to ownership.

The automaker’s CEO, RJ Scaringe, claims the automaker is seriously thinking about offering a subscription service when it begins rolling out vehicles from its Normal, Illinois assembly plant in 2020. Without a dealer network, Rivian’s plan was always to send vehicles directly to buyers, no doubt earning it the ire of dealer groups country-wide. (Read More…)

By on September 19, 2019

Amazon

Isn’t Rivian the popular thing these days? Courted by Amazon and Ford with investments of $700 million and $500 million, respectively, the Michigan-based EV startup recently gained a cash infusion from Cox Automotive.

Now, that very first investment is bearing fruit — 100,000 pieces of it, promised for a three-year delivery window. (Read More…)

By on September 19, 2019

Full disclosure time: For those who are new around here, I worked at Cox Automotive for a little over four years as a sales trainer in the Media Sales division. In that role, I was (very) peripherally aware of some of the company’s strategic decisions, as the Sales Strategy team was also part of my larger department, but I didn’t have any influence or advance knowledge of them. (This is a boilerplate statement for when my old friends at Cox decide I’m in violation of my employment termination agreement by writing this.)

When I first started at Cox (before they even called it “Cox Automotive,” it was just Autotrader.com then), the company was a fat cat, to say the least. I remember when one of our leadership team members declared that we had sold $1.2 billion of revenue in a year, and that over $700 million of it was pure profit. I remember when we drastically overpaid for Dealer.com and Dealertrack at a whopping $4 billion dollar pricetag, just because we had the cash laying around and we were going to get heavily taxed on it if we didn’t spend it on something.

Of course, everything has an expiration date, and the third-party automotive classified business was no exception. Around 2016 or so, consumers started using this new thing called “Google” to search for cars on the internet, dealers stopped writing five-figure checks for classified ads every month without even asking why, and sales reps learned that they aren’t actually worth $250,000 a year for just “checking in” on dealers. Their  strategy of diversification, with the purchases of companies like Kelley Blue Book, vAuto, and VinSolutions turned out to have been a smart move, as some of their competitors like Cars.com were stuck holding the note on a company that literally nobody wants. Ouch.

So when I read that Cox Automotive had invested $350 million into Rivian last week, my initial thoughts were, “Oh, there goes Cox burning some more cash,” and I mostly went about my day. However, a week later, I’m beginning to see that there are more wheels in motion than anybody on the outside realizes — and they will have a significant impact on the automotive marketplace in the years to come.

(Read More…)

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