Lincoln Pulls the Plug on Electric Vehicle Partnership With Rivian
The automotive world has been turned upside-down because of the coronavirus. Automakers have had to shut down factories, sales took a massive dive, and millions of workers have been furloughed. Brands have even had to resort to pushing back model unveilings, but we haven't seen a formal cancellation of a vehicle, until now. Lincoln is the first to cancel an upcoming vehicle because of the coronavirus and it's the electric crossover that was supposed to be built with Rivian.
Coronavirus Is To Blame
According to a report by Automotive News, Lincoln has put the electric SUV on hold because of the "current environment." This looks like the first time an automaker has flat-out canceled a vehicle because of the pandemic. "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," stated the automaker is a statement to the outlet.
From Auto News' report, it sounds like Lincoln is putting Rivian's plan on a temporary hold. But Road & Track found an online post on @FordOnline, which is Ford's employee website, that explains things more clearly. "Give then rapidly changing environment and after a review of product plans, Lincoln and Rivian have decided not to pursue the development of Lincoln's fully-electric vehicle based on Rivian's skateboard platform," claims the site.
The employee site also provides more information on Lincoln's upcoming EV . "As we moved through the development cycle, we determined that it would be better to pivot from the Rivian skateboard platform and focus our development efforts on Lincoln's own fully-electric vehicle," claims the site.
The Future's Still Open
So, the coronavirus made Lincoln rethink working with Rivian. Now, it sounds like it wants to build the EV without any help from the electric start up. We're not sure if that's due to a financial constraint or whether working alone gives Lincoln more flexibility when it comes to timelines. Either way, working together "did not turn out to be the right opportunity" for Lincoln.
If there's good news, it's that both websites claim that the two automakers will continue to look at ways to work together. So, it could just be a temporary thing, and Lincoln and Rivian could partner once again for the automaker's second EV. The first Lincoln to be fully electric, though, sounds like it will be built in house and come out at a later date.
It's a surprising decision that we didn't see coming. Just last April, Ford announced a massive $500 million investment into Rivian to bring an EV to Lincoln's lineup. With the introduction of the Mustang Mach-E, Ford is clearly looking to expand its electric lineup and the EV was going to fit in with the Aviator and Corsair plug-in hybrid SUVs.
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