Rivian abandons European production plans

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by Emily Atkins

Electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian is pausing plans to produce its electric commercial vans in Europe. As a result it will abandon the deal it had with Mercedes-Benz to go into joint production.

The two companies had announced in September 2022 that they were going to establish a new joint venture manufacturing company that would build and operate a factory in Europe to produce large electric vans for both Mercedes-Benz Vans and Rivian.

The all-new electric-only production facility was to begin operations in a few years. The target is to build an  on an existing Mercedes-Benz site in Central/Eastern Europe.

They companies were going to produce two large vans, one based on VAN.EA (MB Vans Electric Architecture), the electric-only platform of Mercedes-Benz Vans, and the other based on the second generation electric-van, Rivian Light Van (RLV) platform.

RJ Scaringe, CEO of Rivian, said the company is looking for the best returns on its capital investment. “At this point in time, we believe focusing on our consumer business, as well as our existing commercial business, represent the most attractive near-term opportunities to maximize value for Rivian.”

“Our collaboration with the Rivian team has been based on a common engineering passion and a strong spirit of partnership. That’s why I respect and understand the decision of Rivian to prioritize the delivery of their consumer business and existing commercial business in the near-term,” said Mathias Geisen, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans.

Geisen said Rivian’s withdrawal will not affect its plans to build its first dedicated electric van assembly plant. “The ramp-up plan for our new EV manufacturing site in Jawor, Poland, is not affected.”

Mercedes-Benz Vans produces four battery-electric driven vans: the eVito Panel Van, the eSprinter, the eVito Tourer and the EQV.

Scaringe and Geisen said the two companies would look for further joint opportunities at a later date.

Rivian’s electric delivery van (EDV) was designed and engineered by Rivian in collaboration with Amazon.