On Wednesday, Lincoln confirmed what Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe revealed last week — the two companies will join forces on a Lincoln electric SUV. The upcoming vehicle will use Rivian’s skateboard platform, as part of Ford Motor Company’s $500 million investment into the Plymouth, Michigan-based startup. Lincoln did not specifically mention when the vehicle is coming or any technical details. However, they did refer to the electric SUV as a progression of its “Quiet Flight DNA”.
To that end, the company says, it will “feature advanced and intuitive technologies.” The as-yet unnamed model will join the Aviator and Corsair Grand Touring as the brand’s lineup expands. When Scaringe discussed the development last week, it seemed like a sensible conclusion that Rivian would build an SUV under Ford’s luxury marque. However, we couldn’t quite confirm it until today’s announcement.
Of course, Rivian’s commitment to help build Lincoln’s electric SUV will test the company’s true ability to move beyond “startup” status. Amazon led an investment round last year, pouring $700 million into the fledgling company. We later learned part of that deal includes a contract to build 100,000 electric vans for the e-commerce giant by 2024. On top of that, Rivian also intends to launch its first two models — the R1T pickup and R1S SUV — near the end of 2020.
What exactly will come of this recent announcement from Lincoln remains to be seen, but we should know more about this all-electric model in the coming months.
Lincoln discontinuing MKZ production
As an offshoot of today’s announcement, Lincoln also said it would cease MKZ production at the end of this year. As the company is creating room to bring an electric SUV into the fold, the last MKZ will roll off the Hermosillo, Mexico production line. This isn’t a terribly surprising development, as the MKZ is the last of Lincoln’s old nomenclature that hadn’t get gotten the ax. Ford also builds its twin, the Fusion, at that plant, and the Fusion’s also living on borrowed time.
With the MKZ gone, Lincoln says, the plant will “prepare for production of new Ford vehicles.” Exactly which vehicles would take the MKZ and Fusion’s places remains unclear. However, Ford could build the so-called Maverick Bronco (“Baby Bronco”) at that plant. Perhaps it’s a replacement for the EcoSport, or another Ford model altogether. Ford has not announced what new vehicles it will produce there, but stay tuned to TFLcar.com and we’ll report any updates as we get them.