Electric vehicle startup Rivian has just partnered with Ford. Rivian will receive a half-billion dollars in funding and Ford's President of Automotive, Joe Hinrichs, will join the seven-member Rivian board. More importantly, Rivian will benefit from Ford's manufacturing expertise and experience. A later expansion of this partnership could extend to sales and distribution. Please see our formal overview of this new partnership here. To help augment our story on how Rivian might benefit from such a partnership we will let Elon Musk of Tesla explain, using only Mr. Musk's previous tweets.
Elon Musk Explains Production Challenges By Inexperienced EV Manufacturers
First up, production. Elon Musk has used the term, "Production Hell" so many times we have lost track. What Mr. Musk is talking about is the unexpected manufacturing challenges that pop up when one builds a new vehicle. Ford knows a thing or two about mass-produced automobiles. We all learn in grade school that Henry Ford produced the first moving assembly line for cars. They've since mastered that art. Startup EV makers try to buy old plants and bring in experts cast off by other car companies. Lots of luck. Rivian's partnership with ford can help smooth over these issues.
Elon Musk Explains Delivery Challenges
Tesla opted to challenge the status quo for vehicle delivery. Rather than use distributors, known as car dealers in our country, Musk wanted to cut them out of the loop so that he could sell his cars and keep all the profits. It makes sense, and one can pretend it is because Musk wanted to stop the shady practices like added fees and trade in hassles that dealers have come to be vilified for. Except Tesla has those same practices and hassles. Rivian could also buck the trend and go it alone. Or simply use Ford's dealers to deliver cars.
- Related Story: 3 Surprises For Tesla Model 3 Buyers Sick of Dealership Hassles
Elon Musk On Not Reinventing the Wheel
When running a successful automobile company outsourcing components from other companies or using existing designs and adapting them to your vehicle makes more sense sometimes than reinventing the wheel - literally. Tesla used Mercedes parts on its Model S. Tesla still looks to Mercedes parent Daimler for significant assemblies. Rivian can use Ford's.
We could keep going. Rivian could benefit from Elon Musk's mistakes such as angering investors and the SEC with incorrect sales and production forecasts. Rivian could learn from Musk's distractions such as cave rescues and hurricane relief. All the tweets are there. One simply has to look.
Screenshots courtesy of Twitter.