Ford Motor Co. said on Wednesday it will invest $ 500 million in the launch of American electric vehicles Rivian Automotive LLC, joining Amazon.com Inc. in support of the potential rival of Tesla.
Ford said she would use Rivian’s “skateboard” – a chassis that packs the electric motor, batteries, and controls – to build a new car for North America. It did not give details of what kind of machine, and where or when it will be built.
Michigan-based Riviana, founded in 2009, has raised more than $ 1.5 billion from investors. A company spokesman declined to give an estimate to the company, but Dealroom.com’s website estimates Rivian’s value at $ 5 billion to $ 7 billion.
Tesla’s market value is about $ 45 billion, while Ford’s caps are under $ 38 billion. In medium trading, Ford‘s shares were flat at $ 9.50, while those of Tesla were down one share to $ 263.07.
On Wednesday, Ford’s chief executive Jim Hackett said the deal with Rivian did not affect Ford’s discussions with Volkswagen (DE: VOWG_p) AG on the division of the German car’s electric vehicle architecture.
“It does not interfere” with Volkswagen, Hackett said during a telephone conference on Wednesday. “This is a specific platform that helps us in areas that we did not review with others.”
The first Rivian products, a large lift truck and a utility vehicle, are scheduled to go into production by the end of 2020 and early 2021, CEO of R.J. Said Scaringe. These two electric vehicles, along with the skateboard that Ford will use, will be built at the Rivian factory, a former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois.
Scaringe said Rivian and Ford “have put this deal together over the past six months.”
The announcement of the Ford deal followed the reports that General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) and Rivian had discontinued the discussions. Reuters reported in February that GM was in talks to invest in Rivian.
On Wednesday, a GM spokesman said the automaker “does not comment on discussions with other parties as a matter of policy”.
In February, Amazon said it would drive a $ 700 million investment in Riviana.
Amazon also said this week that it will partner with Ford in delivering cloud-based transport services.
Ford’s Ford Automotive CEO Joe Hinrichs said Ford is already “in the middle” to develop a battery-electric sales version of F-best sales and we do not want to slow it down. ”
Hinrichs will join the Rivian board.
Ford said its investment in Rivian is separate from vehicle investment no. 2 of the US, previously announced by $ 11 billion in EVS, which include 40 hybrid and electric vehicles completely in its modeling by 2022.
In March, VW and Ford signed an agreement to develop mid-sized trucks and are continuing discussions about extending the alliance to include electric and autonomous vehicles and mobility services./Investing.com