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Volkswagen and Rivian Forge $5B Software Partnership for Next Generation of Electric Vehicles

Volkswagen and Rivian Forge $5B Software Partnership for Next Generation of Electric Vehicles

Listen to this story:
  • Joint Venture: Rivian and Volkswagen to create cutting-edge vehicle software platforms.
  • Major Investment: Volkswagen to invest $1B initially, with up to $4B additional planned.
  • Strategic Growth: Partnership accelerates innovation, lowers costs, and enhances global reach.

Rivian and Volkswagen Group have announced a $5 billion joint venture to develop next-generation software-defined vehicle (SDV) platforms. Volkswagen will invest an initial $1 billion in Rivian, with plans to invest up to $4 billion more. This partnership aims to leverage Rivian’s advanced software and electrical architecture to enhance vehicle technology, reduce costs, and speed up innovation for both companies globally.

Rivian Automotive (NASDAQ: RIVN) and Volkswagen Group (XETRA: VOW / VWO3) announced their intention to form a joint venture (JV) to develop next-generation electrical architecture and leading software technology for electric vehicles.

Strategic Partnership Details

The JV will combine Rivian’s proven zonal hardware design and integrated technology platform with Volkswagen’s extensive reach and resources. This collaboration is expected to enhance both companies’ software capabilities and reduce costs per vehicle through increased scale and accelerated innovation.

Timeline and Future Goals The first vehicles using the new technology are planned to launch in the second half of the decade. Initially, Volkswagen will utilize Rivian’s existing electrical architecture and software platform, aiming to transition to a pure zonal architecture swiftly.

CEO Insights

Oliver Blume, CEO of Volkswagen Group, stated, “Our customers benefit from the targeted partnership with Rivian to create a leading technology architecture. Through our cooperation, we will bring the best solutions to our vehicles faster and at lower cost. We are also acting in the best interest of our strong brands, which will inspire with their iconic products.

RJ Scaringe, Founder and CEO of Rivian, echoed this excitement: “We’re very excited to be partnering with Volkswagen Group. This partnership is expected to bring our software and associated zonal architecture to an even broader market through Volkswagen Group’s global reach. Rivian was created to help the world transition away from fossil fuels through compelling products and services, and this partnership is beautifully aligned with that mission.

Investment Details

Volkswagen’s $5 billion investment will start with an initial $1 billion through an unsecured convertible note, with a potential additional $4 billion investment. This capital injection is expected to secure Rivian’s growth and expand its market reach.

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Regulatory Approvals and Financial Advisors The JV formation is expected to be completed by Q4 2024, subject to definitive agreements and regulatory approvals. Lazard serves as the lead financial advisor, with BDT & MSD Partners advising Rivian.

This strategic partnership marks a significant step in the automotive industry’s shift towards advanced, software-defined electric vehicles, leveraging the strengths of both Rivian and Volkswagen to push the boundaries of innovation and sustainability.

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