Report: Talks End Between GM, Rivian Electric Truck Startup

April 12, 2019 at 10:28 AM

Talks about a major investment by General Motors Co. in electric truck developer Rivian Automotive LLC appear dead, sources tell Bloomberg News.

Sources tell the news service that Rivian founder R.J. Scaringe apparently cut off negotiations within the past two weeks to review overtures from other potential backers. He told Bloomberg in February that he wants to sell Rivian’s know-how to multiple companies.

The Plymouth, Mich.-based startup has attracted nearly $1.2 billion in funding so far from such investors as Amazon, Saudi vehicle distributor Abdul Latif Jameel, Standard Chartered Banks and Sumitomo Corp.

Rivian aims to introduce its R1T electric pickup truck and R1S electric SUV in the U.S. by the end of 2020. The company is preparing for production at the former Mitsubishi Motors Corp. factory in Normal, Ill., which it acquired two years ago for $16 million.

The startup’s two models were unveiled in concept form last November at the Los Angeles auto show, drawing strongly positive reviews. Both models will ride on the company’s “skateboard” platform, which Rivian hopes to eventually license to other carmakers.

GM could use the platform to help accelerate its launch of electric SUVs and pickup trucks. The company’s current EV technology is geared toward small and midsize cars and crossover vehicles.