Rivian is pausing its electric van venture with Mercedes-Benz in Europe

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“Currently, we believe that focusing on our consumer businesses, as well as our existing commercial businesses, offers the most attractive near-term opportunities to maximize value,” RJ Scaringe, CEO of Rivian, said in a press release. Both Mercedes-Benz and Rivian had signed a memorandum of understanding in September for a joint venture to build large commercial electric vans.

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The companies would build the vehicles together at a production site in Poland, but the German car manufacturer will not interrupt its own plans. “The ramp-up plan for our new EV production site in Jawor, Poland is not affected,” Mercedes-Benz head of delivery vehicles Mathias Geisen said in a statement. “We are continuing to scale up electric vehicle production at our first dedicated electric van facility with full momentum and determination.”

It would have been Rivian’s first entry into the European market and one of the first deals to sell vans to a company other than Amazon. The EV company would have been given the opportunity to learn from Mercedes-Benz’s more than 20 years of experience building commercial vans in exchange for its expertise in electric platforms.

This comes on the heels of Rivian which reported a loss of $1.71 billion in the second quarter of 2022. The company said it would burn $700 million in cash to meet its goal of selling 25,000 vehicles by the end of the year. to be produced, of which there are still 7,000. EVs short. Rivian also laid off 800 employees in an effort to cut costs and stop the bleeding of even more money. The automaker says it currently has 98,000 customer reservations for its R1T electric trucks and R1S SUVs.

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At the time of the announcement of the partnership, Geisen said Mercedes-Benz had an interest in maintaining its position as “the only” car manufacturer making large vans in Germany. The original news sent Rivian’s stock up 10 percent, but that’s now down with the deal’s pause. Rivian is still poised to deliver 100,000 delivery EVs to Amazon, with the expected fulfillment date pushed back from 2024 to 2030.

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