Rivian and VW: No Joint Vehicle Production Despite Software Collaboration

Volkswagen Invests Billions in Rivian

Recently, Volkswagen announced a partnership with Rivian, a competitor to Tesla. The German automaker plans to invest up to $5 billion in developing technology for future vehicles together with Rivian. This partnership will focus solely on software, control computers, and network architecture. A significant aspect of this collaboration is that Volkswagen will adopt Rivian’s technology and software for its new cars in the latter half of the decade. This could result in considerable savings for Volkswagen compared to developing these technologies independently. However, Rivian’s CEO, RJ Scaringe, emphasized in a conference call that other areas, such as batteries or drivetrain technology, are not included in the partnership.

No Joint Production

Recently, the American Tesla rival clarified that there are no plans to produce vehicles jointly with Volkswagen. Earlier media reports had suggested that the two manufacturers were in talks to expand their recently established partnership, according to Reuters.

For instance, “Handelsblatt” reported, citing informed sources, that an expanded partnership might include the production of Rivian’s smaller and more affordable R2 SUVs at Volkswagen’s new factory in South Carolina, which is currently under construction. However, these considerations are still in the early stages and could be abandoned.

“There are no plans for vehicle production with the Volkswagen Group,” a Rivian spokesperson stated in an email to Reuters. VW has yet to comment on this matter, choosing not to address the media reports but reaffirming that the focus is firmly on the joint venture.

A Rivian spokesperson further indicated that the company has not changed its plans to initially start the R2 production at its facility in Normal, Illinois, and subsequently at a planned plant in Georgia.

Volkswagen also announced that starting in 2026, it will produce electric SUVs and pickups under the Scout brand at the South Carolina plant. A Scout Motors spokesperson stated, “We have not held any discussions about producing Rivian vehicles.”

Stock Market Reaction

Investors reacted positively to the partnership for software development. Rivian’s stock surged by about 23% following the announcement. However, Volkswagen shareholders’ enthusiasm for the collaboration with Rivian was short-lived. Initially, they welcomed the development, but critical voices emerged concerning the planned significant investments from Wolfsburg. Consequently, VW’s stock dropped by approximately 1.6%.

After Rivian denied rumors of an expanded partnership, the stocks of both companies remained relatively unaffected: Rivian’s stock saw a marginal after-hours drop of 0.07% on NASDAQ, settling at 14.88 euros, while VW’s stock slightly rose by 0.33% in pre-market Tradegate trading, reaching 106.20 euros.