Ford and its luxury brand Lincoln have canceled an all-electric SUV that was going to be powered by technology provided by EV startup Rivian, the companies told Automotive News on Tuesday. The Verge reports: Lincoln says it is still working closely with Rivian, including an “alternative vehicle” that will also be based on Rivian’s electric vehicle skateboard platform. “Given the current environment, Lincoln and Rivian have decided not to pursue the development of a fully electric vehicle based on Rivian’s skateboard platform. Our strategic commitment to Lincoln, Rivian and electrification remains unchanged and Lincoln’s future plans will include an all-electric vehicle,” a spokesperson from Lincoln told The Verge in a statement.
Lincoln declined to say what specifically about the pandemic led to the cancellation. “This was a decision that was mutually made by Lincoln and Rivian given the rapidly changing environment and after a review of product plans,” the spokesperson said. “As we moved through the development cycle, we determined that it would be better to pivot from the Rivian’s skateboard platform and focus our development efforts on Lincoln’s own fully-electric vehicle.” This is a pretty big blow, considering Ford invested $500 million in Rivian last year, just two months after Amazon led a $700 million investment in the Michigan-based startup.
CNBC reports that Ford “lost $632 million during the first quarter and warned investors that it expects an adjusted pretax loss of $5 billion during the second quarter as the company grapples with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic that’s shuttered factories and devastated sales.”