The two automakers will no longer build an electric Lincoln, but company CEOs clearly respect each other.
Remember when Ford made the shock announcement back in 2019 that it was teaming up with Rivian to build a luxury electric SUV under for Lincoln? Unfortunately, the project was scrapped last year - but this doesn't mean the partnership between the two automakers is ending.
Speaking with Motor Trend, Ford and Rivian's CEOs revealed that their working relationship is stronger than ever and that they will continue working together on future projects. Ford's CEO Jim Farley sees working with Rivian as a "strategic, long-term partnership" with opportunities to share platforms and technologies or co-develop projects.
"We have a very good relationship with Ford," said RJ Scaringe, CEO of Rivian. "We haven't announced anything with Ford in terms of what we might do together. We're just being very thoughtful of the discussions that are going on."
As part of the original partnership, Ford wanted to build a large Lincoln SUV based on Rivian's skateboard platform. The body was going to be designed by Lincoln, while Ford would adapt its Sync infotainment system and electronics to run on Rivian's electrical architecture and operating system. If everything went to plan, it would then be built at Rivian's plant in Illinois alongside the Rivian R1T truck and R1S SUV. Instead, Ford will build its own electric Lincoln based on the company's new electric platform that also underpins the Mach-E.
While Ford and Rivian are no longer collaborating to build the electric Lincoln, it's clear that the two CEOs have a lot of respect for each other. "We like what he's doing. We like the brands that he's building. We like the team that he's assembled and our investment's a strategic investment," said Farley referring to Rivian's CEO.
Ford has already invested more than $500 million in Rivian. Considering it hasn't built a single customer car yet, Rivian's growth has been staggering as more major companies like Amazon have invested in the electric startup. Rivian is now worth $26 billion, making it almost as valuable as Ford. But Farley insists that Ford didn't invest in Rivian as a "one-off transaction" to make money or build a car for them. "That's not our relationship," he said. "Our relationship is strategic in nature, and it will play out for many, many years to come." Farley also thinks Rivian's unique approach to design and development can breathe new life into the car industry.
"They have a different view from charging to affordable service, to the parcel distribution process, to the way they develop a vehicle, the way that the tech stack comes to life in a vehicle, the relationship that an anchor tenant like Amazon has for them. It's a very refreshing and exciting leadership team. And that's what we're investing in," he said.
Looking ahead, both companies are plotting major EV expansions, allowing them to use each other's expertise. Rivian plans to expand its production facility and launch smaller R2 and R3 series models based on new platforms, while Ford will electrify its entire model lineup and launch battery-electric versions of the F-150 and Transit van.