Rivian says it won’t partner with Ford

Written by Staff Writer by Francisco Javier Zamora, CNN It’s difficult to ever say never, but it’s become clear that Rivian Motors CEO R.J. Scaringe was being completely honest when he said the company…

Rivian says it won't partner with Ford

Written by Staff Writer by Francisco Javier Zamora, CNN

It’s difficult to ever say never, but it’s become clear that Rivian Motors CEO R.J. Scaringe was being completely honest when he said the company was working with Ford on its electric car.

When asked by CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on Thursday if the company was going to work with the automobile giant again, Scaringe said that it was “not going to happen.”

The CEO said that vehicle certification with Ford would be a short one since it was based on Ford’s part of the electric platform which “didn’t work”

When asked if the company would consider a partnership in the future, Scaringe demurred with another statement.

“Honestly, we don’t see the need for a partnership with anybody,” he said.

Ford is believed to be partnering with Smart Mobility, an autonomous mobility company owned by Alphabet.

Ford is not the only company to fall victim to Rivian’s fierce promise.

Eric Ries, the entrepreneur behind The Lean Startup who has previously invested in Rivian, told CNN that Ford’s aggressive stance on electric car development “could put a crimp in future manufacturing plans with them.”

Last week, Rivian wrote a blog post explaining why it wouldn’t work with Ford.

Enlarge Image Rivian Motors

The post said that Ford (which isn’t the first American automaker Rivian has fallen out with) set extremely aggressive deadlines for electric cars and changed several key decisions regarding the electric car’s design in the process.

Rivian said that given the changed design, it wouldn’t fit in the company’s timeline of launching the iX3 in 2022.

Related content Rivian iX3: Looking to Silicon Valley, not Detroit

Ford did not respond to a request for comment.

The news comes after Rivian announced earlier this year that it had secured $700 million in funding from Chinese car manufacturer BAIC Group Corp, which is majority owned by the Chinese government.

Rivian’s first vehicle, the iX3, will be an electric, fully autonomous self-driving SUV to compete with the Tesla Model 3, which is expected to start shipping in late 2019.

Last week, Rivian announced a partnership with XCITY, a Chinese private venture-capital firm. The investment was valued at up to $500 million, according to Forbes, and follows the firm’s $1 billion fund raised in May.

In addition to BAIC Group Corp, Rivian recently partnered with Jia Yueting, the founder of Chinese technology company, LeEco.

LeEco is reportedly suing Rivian for $500 million, after accusing the company of intellectual property theft.

After the vanned-out revelations, Bloomberg asked Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe if he could be telling the truth when he said he “hadn’t been speaking to his top investors.”

“Well, yeah, I guess we’re not going to have a very deep understanding of that decision,” he responded.

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