Written by By Sam Abuelsamid, CNN
Ford and Rivian have announced that the two companies will no longer work together on developing and manufacturing a number of hybrid and electric vehicles, which would have included the Ford Bronco and the Rivian R1T SUV.
A statement from Ford, first published by USA Today , said that they had been working with Rivian since 2016 and would remain “supportive of the light-duty truck market.”
“Ford appreciates the resources and expertise gained from working with Rivian,” the statement continued. “In this effort, Ford is committed to developing solutions that enhance the safety and functionality of our vehicles.”
Ford’s decision not to build the vehicle at their Dearborn, Michigan-based factory is seen as a blow to the startup, whose development plans have been questioned after it hired former Takata executive Bob Schnorbus last year.
Mitsubishi Motors has canceled plans to sell its FIA electric sports car in the US — a move that could have given Rivian a strategic market and competitive edge.
The relationship between Ford and Rivian was characterized by a nontraditional relationship — in which Ford provided assistance to develop and test a hybrid “platform” with a Rivian executive, and in which Rivian could design and manufacture “high-volume, commercial, and utility” vehicles.
“Our two companies have learned a lot about working together and Ford is committed to working with Rivian to strengthen our future work together,” Ford said in a statement.
Rivian said it was continuing to “operate independently and will continue to advance our vehicle development and manufacturing process improvements” at their Michigan campus.
A statement from Rivian CEO J Mays said that the company was “extremely pleased” that it will still be able to collaborate with Ford on areas in which the two were “complementary,” including electrification, hybridization and regenerative braking technology.
“We don’t expect this decision to have a material impact on our business operations or on the long-term prospects for the Ford Bronco and R1T,” he said.