- In January, Rivian and Lincoln announced a partnership to build Lincoln’s first electric vehicle.
- The joint EV is now canceled, although Ford said its “commitment to Lincoln, Rivian and electrification remains unchanged.”
- Ford will instead focus development efforts “on Lincoln’s own fully electric vehicle,” and will save the Rivian platform for later.
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In January, electric car and truck startup Rivianannounced a partnershipwith Lincoln in which it would build the platform for the automaker’s first fully electric car.
Three months later, those plans have been scrapped. Instead, Lincoln has decided to use its own platform for its first EV.
The news comes via anofficial Lincoln statement, which reads:
Given the current environment, Lincoln and Rivian have decided not to pursue the development of a fully electric vehicle based on Rivian’s skateboard platform. Ford Motor Company’s strategic commitment to Lincoln, Rivian and electrification remains unchanged and Lincoln’s future plans will include an all-electric vehicle consistent with its Quiet Flight DNA.
The Rivian partnership was about more than just one EV, hence the mention that Ford’s “strategic commitment to Lincoln, Rivian and electrification remains unchanged.” Fordinvested $500 millionin Rivian in 2019, and the Lincoln model was meant to be built on Rivian’s “skateboard” platform — a low and flat chassis that makes up the structural underpinnings of the car.
But instead of using that platform, a Lincoln spokesperson told Business Insider that Lincoln has decided to go its own way with this one.
“We continue to review and adjust our business and product plans — as all prudent businesses do,” the spokesperson said. “As we moved through the development cycle, we determined that it would be better to pivot from the Rivian’s skateboard platform and focus our development efforts on Lincoln’s own fully electric vehicle.
“Also, it is important to note that our partnership with Rivian is strong. Our strategic commitment remains unchanged and the company will continue to work with Rivian on an alternative vehicle based on Rivian skateboard platform.”
The spokesperson did not specify what was meant by “the current environment” in the Lincoln press release, but Ford,along with most other automakers, suffered during the first quarter of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ford’s overall Q1 sales fell 12.5%, according toa sales report.
Lincoln, on the other hand, seemed to be doing fine during the same period of time. The luxury automaker’s Q1 total sales went up 2.3% and its SUV sales increased by 6.1%.
Before the cancellation, reports were that the Rivian-Lincoln EV would arrive in 2022. When asked by Business Insider if that would still be the timeline, the Lincoln spokesperson said the company doesn’t “have any product or timing details to share at this point in time.”
“Also, when we made the initial announcement regarding the collaboration with Rivian, we did not confirm timing details either,” the spokesperson said.