Up-and-coming electric vehicle brand Rivian just received a $350 million investment from Cox Automotive. Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises and the parent company of several brands, including Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book. This investment gives Cox Automotive equity in Rivian and puts a representative on the brand’s board.
The Illinois-based EV startup has come up with two clean-sheet designs for electric vehicles: the R1T pickup truck and the R1S SUV. They share a "skateboard" EV platform, which maximizes battery space to get up to 400 miles of range out of these vehicles. They also demonstrate real off-road utility combined with high performance on the road.
So, why did Cox Automotive want to invest in Rivian? "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," said Sandy Schwartz, president of Cox Automotive in a press release. "This investment complements Cox Automotive’s own commitment to environmental change through our Cox Conserves efforts."
With the global automotive services that Cox Automotive offers, it’s in a position to assist Rivian with digital retailing, service operations and logistics. Delivering a consistent customer experience is crucial for Rivian to develop its name recognition as it establishes and grows relationships with customers in the retail and fleet spaces.
$350 million is a big investment, and it’s only part of what’s been invested in Rivian so far in 2019. This past February, there was a $700 million investment round led by retail giant Amazon, and Ford Motor Company made a $500 million investment in the EV brand, showing how serious Ford is about electrifying its lineup.
With so many electric vehicle startups out there, it can be hard to tell which ones are for real, and this new investment from Cox Automotive is one of many signs that Rivian is here to stay.