The independent electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian is getting another big shot of capital, care of Cox Automotive, the companies announced Tuesday.
Cox, which is a major player in the automotive retail and logistics space, is pumping $350 million into Rivian.
Rivian will benefit from the capital injection as it tools up to build its electric R1T truck and R1S SUV in Illinois. The companies also plan to explore "opportunities in digital retailing, service operations and logistics," according to the Cox announcement.
"As part of this, we are excited to work with Cox Automotive in delivering a consistent customer experience across our various touchpoints. Cox Automotive's global footprint, service and logistics capabilities, and retail technology platform make them a great partner for us," said Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe.
Major brands owned by Cox include Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book and Manheim. It remains to be seen whether any sort of retail partnership with either Autotrader or KBB would be possible under this agreement, especially considering the challenges involved with state franchise laws.
With Cox on board, Rivian appears to be signalling its intent to continue to secure funding from American backers for the time being, as evidenced by all of its tie-ups so far in 2019.
Rivian has received significant investments from other big-name companies, perhaps most notably among them was electronic retail giant and technology services provider Amazon. The company's $700 million investment could potentially give it access to a platform on which it could develop future zero-emissions freight and local delivery vehicles.
In April, 2019, Ford announced a $500 million investment that the companies said would result in a new electric vehicle to be sold by Ford. The announcement came after rumors of a tie-up between Rivian and General Motors, which reportedly fizzled because the latter was uncomfortable with Rivian's intention to form partnerships with (and perhaps build cars for) other automakers.
Rivian will remain independent, the announcement said, though Rivian's board will gain a representative from Cox.