Just three months ago, Lincoln announced a project to build a vehicle atop Rivian’s skateboard platform. Today, it’s canceling those plans. Automotive News originally reported the news, and a Lincoln spokesperson confirmed it to us. Lincoln reportedly informed dealers of its decision to cancel the electric project earlier today, citing the “current environment.”
Language like that these days in the automotive industry refers to the coronavirus pandemic and flailing vehicle sales. Originally, Lincoln announced that this model would launch in 2022. It was to be built using the same platform underpinning the Rivian R1S and R1T. The partnership with Rivian was so close that this Lincoln was going to be built at Rivian’s Normal, IL assembly plant. Production of the plant itself was halted recently in the face of the coronavirus, which is bad news for any products meant to be built there in the near future.
Lincoln never announced that this vehicle was going to be an SUV, but that was the likely result of it using Rivian’s platform designed for rugged and large utility vehicles. However, Lincoln says it still has plans to build an electric vehicle. The company’s statement follows:
“Given the current environment, Lincoln and Rivian have decided not to pursue the development of a fully electric vehicle based on Rivian’s skateboard platform. Our strategic commitment to Lincoln, Rivian and electrification remains unchanged and Lincoln’s future plans will include an all-electric vehicle consistent with its Quiet Flight DNA.”
Lincoln hasn’t specified any product details or timing for when this mystery electric vehicle will launch. It could be based off the Mustang Mach-E platform, or it could be a larger vehicle based off the future electric F-150 platform. The former could launch sooner, while the latter is likely a little ways out still. Lincoln doesn’t want this news to be read as a loosening of ties between itself and Rivian either.
“Our partnership with Rivian is strong,” Lincoln’s statement reads. “While the Lincoln electric vehicle did not turn out to be the right opportunity, we continue to work closely together with Rivian. Our strategic commitment remains unchanged and we will continue to work with Rivian on an alternative vehicle based on Rivian’s skateboard platform.”
As of now, Lincoln hasn’t revealed exactly what didn’t line up to make the planned collaboration work. But, it sounds like we should be expecting a future project based on the skateboard after all. There’s just no telling when that vehicle will arrive.