Ford Working on EV with Rivian...."Rivian is a really special thing...."

Godawgs

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https://www.motortrend.com/news/ford-working-ev-rivian-will-suv

Working With Rivian

One of Ford's intriguing partnerships is with Rivian, a Michigan-based tech company that has developed cool electric pickup and SUV concepts that are slated to go into production in late 2020.

Ford has invested $500 million in Rivian and will use its skateboard chassis that provides a full electric powertrain complete with battery pack, electric motors, suspension, axle, and other key components to power a vehicle for about 400 miles. "Rivian is a really special thing that's teaching us about merging not only the powertrain, but the architecture that the ECUs [electronic control unit] and other things connect to," said Hackett. "So think of it as architecture for the operating system of the vehicle."

Ford will develop its own body to wrap around the skateboard.

"You shouldn't go down the path of assuming it's a pickup," Hackett told MotorTrend, which has us assuming it will be an SUV. Many of the details are now finalized. "At the senior levels it's pretty close," he said. "I think a lot of that has been settled, but not ready to talk about."

Rivian will build the skateboard and likely assemble the entire vehicle. "It would be counterproductive for us to try and make what they have capacity to do in the beginning here, because they've got a factory in Illinois that meets a lot of our criteria," Hackett said.
Hackett said overall he likes Rivian founder RJ Scaringe's clean sheet approach and thinks tapping into the tech company's engineering will speed up Ford's rollout of smart vehicles.
 
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skyote

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This is really cool, thanks for sharing.

Most interesting part to me is that the entire Ford vehicle will be manufactured at Rivian, not just the skateboard. To me, that means that tooling & quality is expected to be top notch, so that should also help provide confidence to all of us Rivian reservation holders!
 

skyote

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This is further confirmation that Ford is lending expertise & assistance to the manufacturing effort, and hopefully also the rest of the supply chain.
 
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ElectricTrucking

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Great news. Rivian will have plenty of great history and help with all of the issues getting to production. I hope Ford doesn't push too hard and step on Rivian toes in the process. I'm glad GM is not involved. I feel GM would have destroyed Rivian. Just my two cents worth as nobody of any significants.
 

VinsRiv

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I hope we see something soon from ford or Rivian a little more closer to production, was going to wait & see if model y was worth it but starting to like this joint venture with the two. Hope to get one soon.
 

Hmp10

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I'm glad GM is not involved. I feel GM would have destroyed Rivian.
Agree. This is a story from many years ago (the early 1990's), but it was an interesting window into two different corporate cultures:

I worked for General Electric Motors & Industrial Systems at the time, based in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. We formed a joint venture with Bosch -- called BGAM -- to make accessory motors for the automotive industry. The venture had developed a new motor design that was both cheaper to build and had considerably longer mean-time-between-failure metrics than prior technology. A factory was overhauled in Murfreesboro, TN to accommodate the new manufacturing techniques for these motors.

One day I was visiting that plant and sat in on two sales meetings, one with Ford and one with Delco (GM's electrical components subsidiary). Ford was presented with our proposal for window lift motors and, after a short review, they soon signed on. A few hours later the same pitch was made to Delco. They declined on the spot. The BGAM sales chief thought they were not quite understanding and started repeating his points that the new technology was over $2.00 cheaper per motor and had an MTBF rating of 70,000 cycles instead of the 30,000 cycles typical of earlier designs. The Delco representative cut him off, saying he understood perfectly well. He then explained that it was we who were misunderstanding. A window lift motor for which we would charge Delco $14 would sell at a GM parts counter for almost $200. The last thing they wanted was a window lift motor with twice the life span.

A few years later I got carried away with car press raves about the new C6 generation Corvette, and I picked one as my company car. After ten months and more service visits than I could count, I left it on the side of I-95 and called the company to haul it away. Everything one could have predicted from that Delco sales meeting came to pass in that car: windows leaked so badly I had to stuff paper towels at the top of them in a rain storm or carwash; warped brake discs (twice); tie rod fell off crossing a railroad track; and repeated engagement of "limp mode" that limited the car to 8 mph. It was when that happened for the fourth time and stranded me on an inside lane of I-95 that I got out of the car for the last time.
 

EyeOnRivian

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Most interesting part to me is that the entire Ford vehicle will be manufactured at Rivian, not just the skateboard. To me, that means that tooling & quality is expected to be top notch, so that should also help provide confidence to all of us Rivian reservation holders!
I like where you're going with this, but quite honestly, at a Rivian's price point, my expectations are for Rivian to exceed the quality of Ford. And I believe Rivian needs (and knows) to set the bar higher than Ford's quality if they want to be taken seriously *and* have long term success in this industry. Tall order for a (semi) start-up but I think Rivian has done a good job in positioning themselves for success by learning from an EV market leader (Tesla) and collaborating with industry mass production experts such as Ford. Like most things/plans though, it will come down to how well they execute, i.e., mass production, servicing and maintenance.
 
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Hmp10

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Battery costs are not yet at the point where the total drivetrain cost for an EV is down to that of an ICE vehicle, so much of the price premium for an EV is still consumed by the more expensive drive train. I'm not sure how much of the claimed price differential between a Ford and a Rivian pickup of similar utility can be applied to other aspects of the build.

What will be interesting is to see what the price of Rivians will be with the 135- or 180-kWh battery packs and various interior upgrade options. I have a feeling it's going to be more than $70,000 -- a lot more. At those prices, the competition will be more Range Rover than Ford (at least for the SUV) . . . and Range Rover is a perennial underachiever in reliability rankings. (A 2012 study of 50,000 Rover extended warranty claims showed that 71% of Rovers between 3 and 10 years old broke down each year. It doesn't fare much better in new car reliability rankings, such as Consumer Reports and JD Power.)

Having owned a lot of $100K+ cars as well as several Hondas and Mazdas, I have found a very poor correlation between price and quality, especially in terms of reliability. It seems to come down more to corporate philosophy and manufacturing processes than to pricing.
 
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EyeOnRivian

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What will be interesting is to see what the price of Rivians will be with the 135- or 180-kWh battery packs and various interior upgrade options. I have a feeling it's going to be more than $70,000 -- a lot more.
Yea think. :rolleyes: With a base (105 kWh BP) price starting at $69k (R1T) and $72.5k (R1S) clearly the larger BPs will significantly add to the cost. I've read multiple projections where each BP level will add about $10k. So the 135 kWh BP would be a $10k premium while the 180 kWh BP will add $20k. IMO these are reasonable estimates based on that RJ has said the largest BP (180) will go for either at or just below (don't recall his exact wording) $90k. What we don't know yet is how Rivian will package or bundle each BP, if at all. In other words, of all the features we've seen on each EAV what will be standard vs. optional and will that vary based on the selected BP or will Rivian create option packages independent of the BP selected.

I have found a very poor correlation between price and quality, especially in terms of reliability. It seems to come down more to corporate philosophy and manufacturing processes than to pricing.
Good point. However, but that doesn't stop me/us/Rivian from still expecting, demanding higher quality ... ESPECIALLY when compared to Ford's inconsistent quality over the years. I've had a few Fords in my time and if I was Rivian I would definitely set my quality bar higher than Ford's. After all, Ford went to Rivian for their EV expertise albeit unproven.
 
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Hmp10

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I think you're right about Rivian. A lot of people have tolerated iffy quality from established brands due to brand loyalty going back to an earlier era and the sense that similar vehicles from competitors won't be much different. New entrants -- especially at price points nearing $100K -- are going to have to hold their own against the best current standards, or they're not going to be around long.

Musk sort of got around the problem by putting a very minimalist interior with few tactile interfaces in Teslas, claiming it was a "design statement", and then convincing people to pay a premium for the EV drive technology. If his cars had ICE engines, they would have been laughed out of the price ranks in which they were hanging around with MB, BMW, Audi, Lexus, etc. As so much of one's sense of quality derives from tactile interfaces, it was a clever move for a launch but something which is going to run out of steam eventually.
 

jimcgov3

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Wonder if this connection will lead to Ford service centers handling Rivians??
I personally feel that there is no way that this doesn't lead to a Ford or Lincoln Service Center deal. I know there are a handful of people who feel the price of the vehicle deserves a Lincoln Service experience. Either way, with as many as 18,250 Ford/Lincoln dealerships in the US(www.statista.com), it is going to be such an easy button for Rivian for sure.
 

skyote

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I believe that the "Ford" vehicle based on Rivian will end up being a Lincoln branded SUV.
 

DocTwinkie

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I’m curious if the ford or Lincoln branded car will be cheaper.
 

jimcgov3

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I’m curious if the ford or Lincoln branded car will be cheaper.
Short of removing some of the tech and maybe being able order more supply to keep costs lower, I feel that the Ford will be a less-expensive vehicle but not by much and the Lincoln will be on par with Rivian prices just because of it's average price point. My two pennies. But you also have to consider what Rivian is doing with the R1T and R1S. These aren't your standard truck and SUV.
 
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