Rivian Lands $350 Million Cox Automotive Investment

September 10, 2019 by Jerry Hirsch, @Jerryhirsch

Fledging electric truck company Rivian landed a $350 million investment from Cox Automotive as it moves toward producing a line of electric pickups and SUVs.

The Plymouth, Mich., startup has now landed three high profile investments to fund its vehicle development.

Cox Automotive is best known as an automotive services company that owns Kelley Blue Book, Autotrader and the giant Manheim car auction house. 

Cox and Rivian plan to explore partnership opportunities in service operations, logistics and digital retailing.  

OTHER INVESTORS

Earlier this year Amazon led a $700 million investment round and Ford put $500 million into Rivian. This latest investment brings Rivian’s valuation to about $3.5 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. Rivian told Trucks.com it is neither providing nor commenting on valuation estimates.

“Cox Automotive’s global footprint, service and logistics capabilities and retail technology platform make them a great partner for us,” said RJ Scaringe, Rivian’s founder and chief executive.

Cox sells vehicles and provides dealer referrals through Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader. Manheim has 150 global locations where it operates wholesale auctions for used vehicles.

“We are excited by Rivian’s unique approach to building an electrified future and to be part of the positive impact its products will bring to our roads and the world around us,” said Sandy Schwartz, president of Cox Automotive.

ELECTRIC LEARNINGS

The investment also will provide Cox with the opportunity to learn more about electric vehicles, the company said.

“Advancements in battery technology and the electrification of fleets are two of our primary focus areas. We believe this relationship will prove to be mutually beneficial,” said Joe George, president of Cox Automotive Mobility Group.

Rivian has entered the final stages of testing its R1T pickup truck as it nears launching full-scale production in 2020.

ADVENTURE TRUCK

The automaker is designing the pickup to be a daily driver as well as an adventure-ready off-roader. 

An independent electric motor powers each wheel. The truck’s axles and the standard air suspension will allow for 10.6-inches of articulation at each corner. The truck has five ride heights that accommodate situations where the vehicle must climb over rocks or lower itself to clear branches.

The automaker said the truck will go from zero to 60 mph in 3 seconds. Rivian promises at least an 11,000-pound towing capacity.

LONG RANGE

The company also is developing a companion R1S SUV. The top trim levels of the vehicles will have a range of 400 miles. Rivian said they would retail for around $70,000.

The trucks are designed on a flexible skateboard platform that can be used to build commercial and other vehicles.

The company owns a 2.6-million-square-foot former Mitsubishi assembly plant in Normal., Ill., bought in a 2017 liquidation sale for $16 million. Rivian is retrofitting the factory to produce its vehicles. The company has a stated goal of creating 1,000 new jobs at the plant by 2024.

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