One of the biggest announcements that Ford made in 2019 so far was that it had invested in a strategic partnership with Rivian. Ford invested $500 million into Rivian and got access to the skateboard platform for a future EV. Ford has said that the first vehicle that comes from the tie-up between the two won’t necessarily be a pickup.
Rivian has now announced that it has landed a significant investment from a company called Cox Automotive. Cox invested $350 million and might partner with Rivian for future business operations. Cox owns a range of businesses that are related to auto sales and services, including consumer information sites like Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader.
Cox also owns retailer data services Dealer.com and Dealertrack along with an automotive auction business called Manheim. Cox plans to explore ways to help Rivian with service operations, logistics, and digital retailing. Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe said that Rivian is building an ownership experience that matches the care and consideration that goes into Rivian vehicles.
Before founding Rivian, Scaringe received a Ph. D. from MIT in mechanical engineering. The vehicles that he and his company have created aim to take the EV fight directly to Tesla and will compete directly against Ford. Rivian plans to launch an electric truck and an electric SUV.
Both are notable for their style, performance, off-road prowess and a long driving range per charge. Another major investor in Rivian is Amazon, investing $700 million in February. We talked in August about the multiple roof options that the Rivian EVs would offer. It remains unclear what vehicle Ford will use the Rivian skateboard platform on.