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Ford Invests $500 Million In Rivian For Strategic Partnership With Startup Electric Platform Designer

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  • Ford to build all-new battery electric vehicle using Rivian’s flexible skateboard platform
  • The investment is subject to customary regulatory approval; Ford’s Joe Hinrichs to join Rivian’s board of directors

DEARBORN, Mich., April 24, 2019 – Rivian today announced an equity investment of $500 million from Ford Motor Company. In addition to the investment, the companies have agreed to work together to develop an all-new, next-generation battery electric vehicle for Ford’s growing EV portfolio using Rivian’s skateboard platform.

“This strategic partnership marks another key milestone in our drive to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility,” said RJ Scaringe, Rivian founder and CEO. “Ford has a long-standing commitment to sustainability, with Bill Ford being one of the industry's earliest advocates, and we are excited to use our technology to get more electric vehicles on the road.”

“We are excited to invest in and partner with Rivian,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman.

“I have gotten to know and respect RJ, and we share a common goal to create a sustainable

future for our industry through innovation.”

Rivian already has developed two clean-sheet vehicles with adventurers at the core of every design and engineering decision. The company’s launch products – the five-passenger R1T pickup and seven-passenger R1S SUV – will deliver up to 400-plus miles of range and provide an unmatched combination of performance, off-road capability and utility, starting in late 2020.

“As we continue in our transformation of Ford with new forms of intelligent vehicles and

propulsion, this partnership with Rivian brings a fresh approach to both,” said Jim Hackett, Ford president and CEO. “At the same time, we believe Rivian can benefit from Ford’s industrial expertise and resources.”

Ford intends to develop a new vehicle using Rivian’s flexible skateboard platform. This is in addition to Ford’s existing plans to develop a portfolio of battery electric vehicles. As part of its previously announced $11 billion EV investment, Ford already has confirmed two key fully electric vehicles: a Mustang-inspired crossover coming in 2020 and a zero-emissions version of the best-selling F-150 pickup.

Rivian remains an independent company. The investment is subject to customary regulatory approval. Following Ford’s investment, Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of Automotive, will join Rivian’s seven-member board.

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This investment in the Michigan-based electric vehicle startup places Ford Motor Company among the largest investors in the privately-held company.

This morning in Dearborn, Ford Motor Company confirmed plans to invest $500 million in Rivian, a Michigan-based electric vehicle start-up. The investment places Ford among the largest investors in the privately-held company. Rivian has been in the spotlight recently, with interesting concept vehicles appearing at major auto shows and, more notably, an infusion of $700 million led by Amazon in February 2019.

In this agreement, Ford is also committing to work with Rivian to develop and launch an all-new Ford-branded EV build on the Rivian EV architecture.

Michelle Krebs, executive analyst from Autotrader, said: “Ford’s investment in Rivian is a smart one. Ford has committed to producing numerous electrified vehicles in the future, including pickup trucks, and Rivian has an intriguing concept to get the job done. Rivian leverages Ford’s leadership, expertise and massive volume in pickup trucks as well as its vast distribution network. The Amazon investment in the Rivian mix may well give Ford an in with the delivery services, possibly with electric cargo vans. And, of course, sport utility vehicles are another big opportunity the two could collaborate on.

"Bigger picture, the first step to proliferate electric vehicles, and ultimately autonomous vehicles, is through commercial fleets.

“This week has seen two major announcements that help confirm Detroit as the center of expertise for future mobility technologies: Waymo putting autonomous vehicle production in an old plant in the city and Ford investing in Rivian to make electric vehicles. On that front, it has been a wonderful few days for the Motor City.”