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Will Rivian Refuse This Automaker's Massive Investment?

Industry News / 12 Comments

It already has Amazon's $700 million in the bank.

Michigan-based electric truck company Rivian and General Motors have reportedly reached an impasse in negotiations. According to Bloomberg, the small startup and automotive giant have so far failed to ink a deal for the latter to take an equity stake alongside strategic investor Amazon. Last February, Amazon announced it was pumping $700 million into Rivian. So why isn't it working out with GM?

The report claims that Rivian founder R.J. Scaringe simply wants to keep his options open. He knows his company is hot stuff right now thanks to its skateboard-style electric truck platform so why not keep the door open for a potentially better deal? In other words, Rivian needs GM less than GM needs it.

A source close to the negotiations added that Rivian has several other potential suitors but no names have specifically been mentioned. If GM is unable to cut a deal with Rivian then it'll be forced to develop electric pickup trucks on its own, which will no doubt be a costly and time-consuming endeavor.

"As we have stated, we admire Rivian's contribution to a future of zero emissions and an all-electric future," GM spokesman Pat Morrissey said in an emailed statement. "Talks occur on a regular basis in the auto industry between a variety of partners, but as a matter of policy we don't discuss who, where or when those discussions might occur."

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Rivian, however, would be missing on one major thing if a deal isn't cut: GM's manufacturing mastery and global presence. On the other hand, there are several other major global automakers Rivian could talk to. It's also important to note that Rivian doesn't exactly need the additional funds at the moment thanks to other investors aside from Amazon.

Rivian still plans to launch its R1T pickup truck late next year. Production is set to take place at an Illinois factory Rivian bought from Mitsubishi in 2017.