IRVINE, Cal. (WMBD) — Electric vehicle maker Rivian announced Monday that it is pausing its plan to produce electric commercial vans in Europe and will no longer pursue its deal with Mercedes-Benz, according to a new press release.
Rivian signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mercedes-Benz in September of this year to partner and produce electric vans at a shared, newly-constructed production plant in Europe.
“We’ve decided to pause discussions with Mercedes-Benz Vans regarding the Memorandum of Understanding we signed earlier this year for joint production of electric vans in Europe. As we evaluate growth opportunities, we pursue the best risk-adjusted returns on our capital investments,” said Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe. “At this point in time, we believe focusing on our consumer business, as well as our existing commercial business, represent the most attractive near-term opportunities to maximize value for Rivian. We share the same goal as Mercedes-Benz Vans, to help the world transition to electric vehicles, and we look forward to exploring opportunities with them at a more appropriate time for Rivian.”
“Our collaboration with the Rivian team has been based on a common engineering passion and a strong spirit of partnership. That’s why I respect and understand the decision of Rivian to prioritize the delivery of their consumer business and existing commercial business in the near-term,” said the head of Mercedes-Benz vans Mathias Geisen. “While the timeline for our common European production joint venture is now on hold, the pace of our own electrification strategy at Mercedes-Benz Vans remains unchanged. The ramp-up plan for our new EV manufacturing site in Jawor, Poland is not affected. We will continue with full speed and determination to scale up electric vehicle production in our first dedicated electric van plant – designed for maximum flexibility and productivity. Exploring strategic opportunities with the team at Rivian in the future remains an option, as we share the same strategic ambition: accelerating the EV adoption with benchmark products for our customers.”
Rivian has developed the R1T, R1S, and the Electric Delivery Van (“EDV”) last-mile delivery vans, which are Rivian’s first vehicles in the consumer and commercial space. The EDV was designed and engineered by Rivian in collaboration with Amazon as an anchor product to combat climate change at scale in the fleet market.