Many investors are questioning the recent breakup of two promising EV manufacturers, Ford and Rivan, as they have agreed to part ways in the production of their respective vehicles moving forward. This news comes only a number of days following Rivian's IPO (ticker: RIVN) whose stock price will enter the November 22nd trading day at approximately $130. As for Ford (ticker: F), their stock has risen almost 50% over the past 6 months and will trade around $19.40 the Monday before Thanksgiving. Some investors may question whether there were tensions between the two companies prior to the recent news, but rest assured that was not the case. Ford had initially invested in Rivian to help them get their feet off the ground in 2019, and still maintains considerable ownership of Rivian stock of approximately $13 billion (Root). It was reported this decision was mutual in nature, and these companies surely have a lot to be thankful for as the EV movement continues to gain more traction entering the holiday season.
Moving forward, it will be interesting to see whether historical automotive juggernauts like Ford, GM, and Toyota carve their own paths in EV movement or merge with promising EV startups. A big factor why firms may elect to maintain their firm structure rather than merge is due to the insignificant scaling issues regarding production. With traditional combustion (gasoline) engines, firms often merged with one another in order to scale production as different sized vehicles required different engine capacities. However, as Al Root pointed out in his recent article related to the Ford-Rivan relationship, “...with EVs, batteries and electric motors provide the power. Larger EVs typically just get more batteries and another electric motor—usually mounted on an axel—than smaller EVs do” (Root). As more people begin replacing their traditional combustion engine vehicles with hybrid or all-electric models, watch for the (non)occurence of partnerships between automobile firms as they attempt to capture market share over the next decade or so.
Root, Al. “Ford and Rivian’s Breakup: Sour Grapes, Growing Confidence, or Something Else?” Barron's, 20 Nov. 2021, https://www.barrons.com/articles/ford-rivian-ev-partnership-51637417997?mod=hp_DAY_5.