Ford, Rivian to deliver all-new battery electric vehicle

Rivian introduces all-electric pickup and SUV at LA Auto Show in Los Angeles

Just a few months after the automaker's formal debut, Amazon led a $700 million investment round in the company, and it won't be the only one.

Ford intends to develop a new vehicle using Rivian's flexible skateboard platform. "They were inventing", he said on a conference call.

Ford also has been in talks with Volkswagen AG about tapping the world's largest automaker for its electric-car platform, dubbed MEB.

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"At the same time, we believe Rivian can benefit from Ford's industrial expertise and resources", Hackett noted. Before that, Rivian had raised $450 million from other private investors and companies, including Abdul Latif Jameel, an investment firm that is also the Toyota distributor for Saudi Arabia, and the US arm of Japan's Sumitumo Corporation, a conglomerate of businesses involving metals, aircraft leasing, and railroads. Following Ford's investment, Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of Automotive, will join Rivian's seven-member board.

"This strategic partnership marks another key milestone in our drive to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility", said RJ Scaringe, Rivian founder and CEO. Rivian has developed a range of electric cars created to focus on the great outdoors - a Tesla for the outward bound, if you will. Hackett said executives in charge of Argo AI, an autonomous vehicle company partly owned by Ford, know Scaringe well. "We can learn a lot from Rivian".

Rivian and Ford will partner on a Ford-branded electric vehicle. It's also planning a battery-powered F-150 pickup. In mid-day trade, Ford shares were flat at $9.50, while those of Tesla were down a fraction at $263.07.

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Rivian already has developed two clean-sheet vehicles with adventurers at the core of every design and engineering decision. They are considered a calling card for the world's vehicle makers - and Scaringe told auto magazine that he was touting it around as a "white label" solution to automotive and even lifestyle companies.

Rivian would build the platform, which would be sent to Ford for final vehicle assembly, Hinrichs said.

"The Amazon investment in the Rivian mix may well give Ford an in with the delivery services, possibly with electric cargo vans".

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