• Rivian and Lincoln - Not a Match Made in Heaven, Apparently

Lincoln has called it quits for the time-being

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In January this year, Lincoln announced a partnership with Rivian to build the former’s first fully electric vehicle. This didn’t come as a surprise given that the former’s parent company, Ford, has invested $500 million in Rivian. Just three months into the announcement, the partnership has been scrapped. Lincoln revealed this information in a statement citing the “current environment” as the reason. However, this doesn’t mean Ford is opting out of Rivian completely. The companies are still associated and will collaborate on a product in the future.

What Did The Statement Read?

2020 Lincoln Aviator - Driven Exterior
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Lincoln announced the temporary dissolution in a statement that read: “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, consistent with its Quiet Flight DNA.”

Quiet Flight DNA refers to the smooth ride quality and muted engine sounds that Lincoln executives have said are essential to the brand's promise of a relaxing experience.

The Relationship Lasted Just Three Months

How Does the Rivian R1S Compete with the Tesla Model X? Exterior
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Rivian and Lincoln had earlier announced to be working on a Lincoln-badged electric SUV that would be based on Rivian’s skateboard platform. Although the announcement comes as a surprise, the good thing is that this is not the end of their association. The statement issued by Lincoln didn’t sound very pragmatic, but Ford clarified that this was done as part of a larger cost restructuring due to COVID-19. When Ford announced its investment in 2019, it said that it will build at least one product with Rivian. The Lincoln SUV could have been the first one, but for now, the plans are put on hold. This doesn’t mean we won’t be seeing the brands work together in the future, but there is no timeline as to when we can expect them to announce a joint-product again.

Does It Mean Ford Will Create A Product With Rivian First?

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Exterior
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Since Ford stated that this is part of a cost restructuring, could we see Ford team up with Rivian first? According to a sales report, Ford saw a downfall of 12.5-percent in the first quarter. Lincoln, on the other hand, saw growth as the sales went up by 2.3-percent in the first quarter. Does it mean Ford needs another electric product in the market after the Mustang Mach-E to keep the sales from falling? It will take time, but perhaps a mainstream Ford electric model would bring more volume to the company than a Lincoln-badged vehicle would.

Final Thoughts

The 2020 Rivian R1T Electric Truck Middle Fingers Tesla with a 3-Second Sprint to 60 mph and 400 Mile Range Exterior
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Rivian’s business model largely revolves around the said skateboard platform. Apart from building its R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV, Rivian also plans to lend the architecture to other manufacturers to base their products on. It also serves as the platform for electric Amazon delivery vehicles. So, it’ll be interesting to see how this ‘break-up’ affects Rivian in the long run.

What do you think about this announcement from Lincoln and Ford? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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