Pherdnut

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I wonder how much this is about wanting to make sure it's understood there was no bad blood over the Lincoln thing.

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/b...-board-electric-truck-maker-rivian/111648536/

Alexandra Ford English, a rising executive at Ford Motor Co. and great-great granddaughter of founder Henry Ford, has joined the board of directors at electric-truck maker Rivian Automotive Inc., solidifying ties between the companies even after they canceled a joint project this week.

Ford English is taking the seat on Rivian’s board vacated by Joe Hinrichs, who abruptly stepped down as Ford’s automotive president in a management shakeup in February. She recently became director of corporate strategy at Ford and previously worked in the automaker’s self-driving vehicles unit.

“Alexandra and I share a deep passion for mobility and electrification, and her connection to Ford’s long family role in transportation is something special,” R.J. Scaringe, Rivian’s founder and chief executive officer, said Friday in a statement. “I am looking forward to working closely with her and the perspective that she will bring.”

Ford invested $500 million in Rivian in April 2019 and made a second undisclosed investment in December. The automaker this week said coronavirus disruptions caused it to cancel plans to jointly produce a battery-powered Lincoln model with Rivian, but still intends to develop an electric vehicle with the startup. Last year, Rivian scored a big contract to produce 100,000 electric delivery vans for Amazon Inc., another investor.

Ford Shares Hit 10-Year Low, But CEO Hackett Has Chairman’s Ear

Ford English, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a master’s in business administration from Harvard University, joined the family business in 2017 after working in the merchandising divisions of retailers Tory Burch in New York and Gap Inc. in San Francisco.

She is the daughter of Executive Chairman Bill Ford.
 
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Coast2Coast

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In theory, she has a lot to offer Rivian. The question is how well will it transfer? Ford has 175,000 employees and 65 assembly plants spread around the world. Much of what she knows won't likely fit a startup with 1,000 employees and 1 assembly plant. But Ford did invest $500 million in Rivian, and it likely came with the right to appoint someone to Rivian's Board of Directors.

On Tuesday, the same day that Ford pulled its Lincoln SUV partnership with Rivian, Ford announced it was delaying a launch of its autonomous vehicle service, which was scheduled to come online later this year, until 2022. Ford invested $1 billion in Argo AI, a Pittsburg-based autonomous vehicle startup in 2017. In 2019, Ford and VW together invested another $2.6 billion in capital and assets in Argo AI.

So, once again, in theory, Alexandra Ford English brings a lot of value to Rivian by joining its board as long as what she knows and the connections she brings can be scaled appropriately to Rivian's needs. No doubt, down the road, Rivian wants to add Level 3 autonomous driving technology, and Ford's investment in Argo AI could be immensely useful to Rivian in this respect. And, in any number of important ways, I don't doubt that an alliance/partnership with Ford can benefit Rivian.
 

electruck

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This isn't a new seat on the board, she's filling Joe Hinrichs vacant seat. Ford has made a very significant investment in Rivian and will definitely want to protect their interests regardless of current market dynamics. She's an interesting pick from an experience perspective, only ~3 yrs in the automotive industry but does have autonomous vehicle experience.
 

EyeOnRivian

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I wonder how much this is about wanting to make sure it's understood there was no bad blood over the Lincoln thing.
It's about 500 million reasons for Ford to be on the Rivian board. ;)
 
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Pherdnut

Pherdnut

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Rivian: "We could use your help with manufacturing expertise, supply chain leverage, capital, etc. Would you like to invest in a strategic partnership? We have these skateboards..."

Ford: "Those are neat, but we could never let somebody handle an F-150 drivetrain for us. Maybe we could stick one of those in a Lincoln."

Rivian: "Also our designers could help you produce vehicle interiors that don't look like dog sh..."

Ford: "Here's half a billion dollars, everything else you wanted, and everything we've learned about autonomous."
 

Coast2Coast

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The Wall Street Journal published an article about Alexandra Ford English, the new board member to Rivian from Ford, that looked to be fairly detailed, but I couldn't read it because I'm not a WSJ subscriber. However, embedded in the article was a half-hour video on the experience of 8 WSJ reporters driving 8 different EVs in 8 different cities around the world. Pretty interesting. Here it is.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/ford-n...-to-companys-board-seat-at-rivian-11588346654
 
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