Along with Amazon, Ford Motor Company has been a significant investor into Rivian. Originally the investment was going to yield at least one Ford product built by Rivian.
In fact, Ford even announced in January 2020 that Lincoln would gain an electric vehicle based on Rivian’s skateboard architecture. Then plans for that vehicle were quickly scrapped because of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time Ford stated that another Ford product would be built on the Rivian architecture, but failed to disclose details.
In a new interview with Automotive News, Ford CEO Jim Farley says a lot has changed since Ford’s initial investment into Rivian. Specifically, Ford has “growing confidence” in their internal ability to win in the electric vehicle space. This confidence boost–likely driven by the success of the Mustang Mach E and the F-150 Lightning‘s reception–has them wanting to go it alone.
Farley also disclosed that the project was running into technical problems, noting that it is challenging marrying one company’s software with another’s architecture. His description implied axing the program was a joint decision between Ford and Rivian.
This pivot actually makes some sense for Ford. In order to be successful with their own EV’s, they’re going to need scale. Shifting some of their scale to a Rivian product does not make a ton of sense so long as they have the EV architectures internally. Ford is working on three dedicated EV architectures that will spawn vehicles of just about every size and configuration.
Farley says Ford wants to continue its investment into Rivian. He went on to say that the two companies have a great relationship and work well together, calling it a “bother and sister” kind of relationship.