When Ford inked a $500 million investment deal with up-start electric vehicle maker Rivian in April of this year, the Dearborn-based automaker announced that it would build a future EV model on Rivian’s so-called skateboard platform. Ford didn’t give any more details on that Rivian-based model, but there was a general consensus that it would take the form of an electric pickup truck.
However, Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett threw cold water on that theory in a interview published Tuesday by MotorTrend.
"You shouldn't go down the path of assuming it's a pickup,” he said.
That likely signals Ford’s Rivian-based model will be an SUV. After all, Rivian’s lineup consists of just two models—the R1T pickup and the R1S SUV—and sedans have fallen so far out of favor with consumers that Ford has scrapped most of its passenger car lineup.
An electric SUV also makes more sense for Ford than an electric pickup. Ford is already developing an all-electric F-150, and it would make little sense for the company to have two products competing in the same general segment.
Hackett also revealed for the first time in Tuesday's report that Ford’s Rivian-based product will be built at the EV maker’s Illinois plant.
"It would be counterproductive for us to try and make what they have capacity to do in the beginning here, because they've got a factory in Illinois that meets a lot of our criteria," Hackett said. Ford previously stated it intended to build its Rivian-based model in-house.
There’s still no timeline for when we’ll see Ford’s Rivian collaboration in showrooms, but Hackett says the many of the details, likely involving engineering and design, are “pretty close” to done.