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Ford Trims its Stake in Rivian to 1%

Things have gone south.

For a while there, it seemed like Ford’s efforts to go electric would go hand-in-hand with Rivian’s.

The iconic automaker became a minority partner in the promising electric pickup-and-SUV startup, and even began drawing up plans for a jointly developed model.

But after a chaotic few years in which their partnership never really got off the ground, that dream appears to be, officially, all but over.

In the spring of 2019 — in a far different world than the one we live in now — Ford made a $500 million investment in Rivian as the startup prepared to start making its first vehicles. The companies later indicated that they would join forces on a new electric SUV from Ford’s Lincoln luxury brand.

And then, things went south — for pretty much everybody.

After taking a significant loss around the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ford decided that the companies should instead continue to pursue their own projects, putting the SUV project on hold, then canceling it outright in late 2021 – right around the time of Rivian’s bonanza initial public offering.

By the end of that year, Ford held an estimated 11.4% stake in a company still riding high off a promising debut. The good times, however, would be short-lived: plagued by supply-chain headaches and other issues, Rivian struggled to meet production targets for its well-received vehicles, and its stock price plummeted; it has fallen from its initial peak of nearly $180 per share down to less than $19.

Ford, as it turned out, was joining the sell-off. In its latest earnings report, the company wrote down $7.3 billion tied to its Rivian investment in 2022, and a regulatory filing last week indicated that the automaker now holds just a 1.15% stake in Rivian. It’s likely only a matter of time until that share is divested, as well.

Ford, of course, elected to chart its own path toward electrification without Rivian. Its well received Mustang Mach-E debuted in the 2021 model year, followed by the Lightning version of its best selling F-150 pickup.

Rivian, meanwhile, is reportedly emphasizing the need to “focus” in 2023 after getting way out over its skis in the years prior.

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