In September, Rivian and Mercedes introduced they’d signed a memorandum of understanding — a primary step towards constructing electrical vans collectively in Europe. It was thrilling information for Rivian as a result of it linked the US startup with a longtime automaker and expanded its operations past the borders of the US.
However now the bloom is off the rose, apparently. Rivian introduced on December 12 it’s pausing plans to provide its electrical business vans in Europe and can not pursue the Memorandum of Understanding with Mercedes that was signed simply three months in the past.
Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe mentioned in a press release, “We’ve determined to pause discussions with Mercedes-Benz Vans relating to the Memorandum of Understanding we signed earlier this yr for joint manufacturing of electrical vans in Europe. As we consider development alternatives, we pursue the very best risk-adjusted returns on our capital investments.
“At this time limit, we consider specializing in our client enterprise, in addition to our present business enterprise, signify essentially the most enticing near-term alternatives to maximise worth for Rivian. We share the identical objective as Mercedes-Benz Vans, to assist the world transition to electrical automobiles, and we sit up for exploring alternatives with them at a extra acceptable time for Rivian.”
“The pausing of this partnership displays our strategy of frequently evaluating our main capital initiatives, whereas considering our present and anticipated financial circumstances,” Rivian Chief Monetary Officer Claire McDonough mentioned in a press release.
Mathias Geisen, who heads Mercedes-Benz Vans, was gracious in his remarks concerning the abrupt change in course. “Our collaboration with the Rivian crew has been primarily based on a typical engineering ardour and a powerful spirit of partnership. That’s why I respect and perceive the choice of Rivian to prioritize the supply of their client enterprise and present business enterprise within the near-term. Whereas the timeline for our frequent European manufacturing three way partnership is now on maintain, the tempo of our personal electrification technique at Mercedes-Benz Vans stays unchanged.
“The ramp-up plan for our new EV manufacturing web site in Jawor, Poland shouldn’t be affected. We’ll proceed with full pace and willpower to scale up electrical car manufacturing in our first devoted electrical van plant, which is designed for max flexibility and productiveness. Exploring strategic alternatives with the crew at Rivian sooner or later stays an choice, as we share the identical strategic ambition — accelerating the EV adoption with benchmark merchandise for our clients.”
A Acquainted Sample
One hates to be too essential of an organization that’s attempting to do the appropriate factor, however this isn’t the primary time Rivian has parted firm with a longtime automaker. Ford was an early supporter of Rivian and finally invested over $1 billion in Rivian. Again in 2018, Ford CEO Jim Hackett mentioned, Ford CEO Jim Hackett mentioned, “Rivian is a extremely particular factor that’s educating us about merging not solely the powertrain however the structure that the digital management unit and different issues hook up with. So consider it as structure for the working system of the car.”
However then three years later, Ford withdrew its assist of Rivian. At the moment, Hackett mentioned, “Proper now, we’ve rising confidence in our capacity to win within the electrical area. Whenever you examine right this moment with once we initially made that funding, a lot has modified: about our capacity, concerning the model’s path in each circumstances, and now it’s extra sure to us what we’ve to do. We need to put money into Rivian — we love their future as an organization — however at this level we’re going to develop our personal automobiles.”
For its half, Mercedes appears to be doing fairly properly by itself. It has improved its eSprinter battery-electric van to the purpose the place is can journey practically 300 miles in actual world driving. That’s spectacular in comparison with the slightly anemic functionality of the unique.
Electrical automobiles are disrupting the world of transportation whereas on the similar time creating fault strains on the earth of producing. Ford and Volkswagen are collaborating, Honda is working with Normal Motors and Sony, Apple is doing who is aware of what with its Undertaking Titan program, Hyundai is coordinating with Canoo.
It’s a time of nice ferment within the automotive business. Some new corporations will thrive whereas some previous line corporations will fade away. Whether or not Rivian is likely one of the survivors of the transition to electrical transportation is unknown at the moment. As far as we all know, its dedication to construct 100,000 electrical supply vans for Amazon remains to be intact.
Maybe all is properly at Rivian, however it’s a little troubling that it has reversed course on its relationship with Mercedes so quickly after it started. We hate to assume Rivian will acquire a popularity as an organization that doesn’t play properly with others.
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