Rivian recently announced an equity investment of $350 million from Cox Automotive, a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, which hosts brands such as Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, and RideKleen. The investment will allow Rivian and Cox to explore partnership opportunities in service operations, digital retail, and logistics.
In a press release, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe stated the partnership with Cox will allow the company to provide a consistent customer experience for buyers of its vehicles, including the R1T luxury pickup truck and the R1S SUV.
“We are building a Rivian ownership experience that matches the care and consideration that go into our vehicles. As part of this, we are excited to work with Cox Automotive in delivering consistent customer experience across our various touchpoints. Cox Automotive’s global footprint, service and logistics capabilities, and retail technology platform make them a great partner for us,” he said.
Sandy Schwartz, president of Cox Automotive, also expressed his enthusiasm for Rivian and its potential in the auto industry. Schwartz added that Rivian’s stance as an environmentally-conscious EV maker complements Cox’s own conservation efforts.
“We are excited by Rivian’s unique approach to building an electrified future and to be part of the positive impact its products will bring to our roads and the world around us. This investment complements Cox Automotive’s own commitment to environmental change through our Cox Conserves efforts,” he said.
Cox Automotive Mobility Group president Joe George added that the partnership opens up opportunities for Cox to learn about the electric car revolution, as well as developments in battery technology.
“With the electrification of vehicles set to play a significant role in the new mobility future, this partnership opens another channel of discovery and learning for Cox Automotive. Advancements in battery technology and the electrification of fleets are two of our primary focus areas, and we believe this relationship will prove to be mutually beneficial,” he said.
Cox Automotive’s $350 million partnership deal marks Rivian’s third major investment for 2019. Prior to Cox, Rivian had received a $700 million investment from Amazon in February, as well as $500 million from the Ford Motor Company. Despite Cox’s investment in the electric truck maker, Rivian notes that it will remain an independent company with a representative from Cox sitting on its board.
The announcement of Rivian’s most recent investment comes not long after prototypes of the electric truck maker’s R1T pickup were spotted in Ushuaia, Argentina. The vehicles, which were photographed by EV enthusiast Juan Guillermo Bauer, were reportedly brought to the country as vehicles for an adventure show starring Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman. Unlike the silver R1T show model that is being showcased by the company in the United States, the R1T units spotted in Argentina appear to be prototypes, as evidenced by their rather spartan interior and a center console that features numerous buttons and knobs.