Back in 2019, Ford made a $500 million investment into upstart EV automaker Rivian that was supposed to give the automaker access to Rivian’s Skateboard platform for use in a future all-electric vehicle. A few months later, it was reported that the forthcoming model would be a Lincoln SUV, but last year, Ford canceled the project, citing the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the economy. However, as Ford Authority exclusively reported last October, FoMoCo said that its relationship with Rivian was “going great,” and that it still planned on building a future Ford EV on Rivian’s platform. Now, Automotive News is reporting that those plans have been scrapped altogether.
“Right now, we have growing confidence in our ability to win in the electric space,” Farley told Automotive News. “When you compare today with when we originally made that investment, so much has changed – about our ability, about the brand’s direction in both cases, and now it’s more certain to us what we have to do. We want to invest in Rivian – we love their future as a company – but at this point we’re going to develop our own vehicles.”
This announcement comes on the heels of Farley revealing that Ford is doubling its planned global EV production between now and 2024, to 600,000 units per year. Ford’s CEO cited stronger than expected demand for its current and future electric vehicles, including the Ford Mustang Mach-E 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning, and 2022 Ford E-Transit as the reason for this big bet, which, as it stands today, would make it the second-largest producer of EVs behind only Tesla.
Farley recently called Rivian, Tesla, and Volkswagen “major threats” to its business, but he was quick to point out that Ford’s relationship with the former hasn’t soured. “Rivian’s a special case for us; it’s kind of like a brother or a sister, since we’re an investor,” Farley said. “We know [CEO RJ Scaringe] and the company really well. It’s some of the best cooperation we’ve had with another company. We have slightly different business models. We like what they’re doing, but we’re going to go our separate ways.”