Volkswagen to invest up to $5 billion in Rivian

Credit: Rivian

Rivian and Volkswagen announced today the German automaker will take up to a $5 billion stake in the EV maker, helping to alleviate cash concerns and potentially cut costs as it scales its electric automotive business amidst two new models coming.

Rivian and Volkswagen announced the deal on Tuesday just after markets closed. Rivian will hold its Shareholder Day on Thursday.

Volkswagen is not the first company to take a major stake in Rivian, as Ford did it in 2021 when the company went public.

However, Ford sold most of its stake as the automaker’s shares tumbled. The sale bolstered Ford’s cash flow, and it said in its Q4 2022 Earnings Call that its relinquishment of Rivian shares “now is nearly complete.”

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe confirmed the partnership:

The two companies also plan to enter a joint venture to create the next generation of software-defined vehicle platforms (SDV), which will be used in both Rivian and Volkswagen EVs.

Volkswagen Group CEO Oliver Blume said:

“Our customers benefit from the targeted partnership with Rivian to create a leading technology architecture. Through our cooperation, we will bring the best solutions to our vehicles faster and at lower cost. We are also acting in the best interest of our strong brands, which will inspire with their iconic products. The partnership fits seamlessly with our existing software strategy, our products, and partnerships. We are strengthening our technology profile and our competitiveness.”

The initial investment comes from Volkswagen pushing $1 billion through an unsecured convertible note that will convert into Rivian’s common stock. Then, Volkswagen is expected to invest an additional $4 billion.

Rivian is one of the biggest up-and-comers in the EV space, but it still has not scaled production enough to reach profitability. The automaker has reported losses in every quarter, with its most recent earnings call showing a loss of $1.45 billion.

The company is in the middle of preparations for its next few product launches. It unveiled the next-generation R2 platform and vehicles at a recent event and stated it planned to manufacture them in Normal, Illinois, at its flagship production facility.

The facility was recently re-tooled in an effort to catalyze cost savings in manufacturing:

Rivian executive reveals massive cost-savings from re-tooling Illinois plant

Volkswagen’s stake in Rivian will help bolster these efforts and secure financial stability as the company moves toward a profitable financial spreadsheet.

Volkswagen has made a monumental commitment to Rivian with this investment. Ford had already been burned by an early investment in Rivian, but the company was in a much different condition than it had been several years ago.

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Volkswagen to invest up to $5 billion in Rivian
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