Ford and Rivian go their separate ways after filing shows massive stock sale in 2022

The once-promising strategic partnership between Ford and Rivian is “nearly complete” after a new SEC filing shows Ford trimmed its stake to just 10.5 million shares in 2022.

Ford trims Rivian stake to a mere 1.15% ownership

The partnership began in 2019 after Ford invested $500 million in Rivian, marking a key milestone in the company’s shared vision of accelerating sustainable mobility.

In addition to the investment, Ford said it would use Rivian’s electric platform to develop its own Ford or Lincoln-branded EV alongside its planned F-150 electric pickup (now known as the F-150 Lightning) and Mustang-inspired electric crossover (the Mustang Mach-E).

Initial plans included for Ford to take over some production capacity at Rivian’s Illinois factory, but Ford announced in April 2020 it would be moving away from using Rivian’s platform, as a message to employees stated:

As we moved through the development cycle, we determined that it would be better to pivot from the Rivian skateboard platform and focus our development efforts.

Despite a spokesperson claiming Ford and Rivian will continue to be great partners, the two agreed it would be better to focus on their own projects.

In April 2022, Ford reported a $5.4 billion write-down on its investment after Rivian’s stock collapsed over 70% from its highs. Ford’s SEC filing in May 2022 showed Ford owned 86.9 million shares after selling seven million for $26.88 per share.

After releasing fourth quarter and full year 2022 earnings earlier this month, Ford’s CFO told investors and analysts the company was providing its first quarter regular dividend of $0.15 per share alongside a supplemental one of $0.665 per share, “reflecting our strong free cash flow and the monetization of our Rivian stake, which is now nearly complete.”

Ford’s latest SEC filing on Wednesday indicated the automaker reduced its stake further to just 10.5 million shares or 1.15% of Rivian’s stock. Last week, Ford reported another write-down in its investment of $7.3 billion.

Rivian’s stock is down 70% over the past year, and the EV maker has struggled to turn a profit as it looks to achieve full-scale production.

Meanwhile, Ford’s CEO Jim Farley says the company’s next-generation EV pickup and electric platform are “deep in development.”

Electrek’s Take

It looks like the strategic partnership between Ford and Rivian has fallen through. Although it would have been fascinating to see what the young EV startup and legacy automaker could have developed, it’s likely best they go in separate directions.

To make an electric vehicle (and make it profitably), developing in-house technology will be critical to streamlining production. Farley has recently said Ford is “going back to our Model A” in reference to bringing component manufacturing back.

We’ll update you if we hear more about the situation.