Rivian Reveals Strategic Investor and First Vehicles

Rivian Factory 2017 Christian Prenzler.JPG

Rivian unveils major strategic investor and is hiring at the Normal, IL plant

Just hours after AdaptBN reported on the new additions of Rob Williams and Mark Vinnels to Rivian's executive team, Rivian has now disclosed a new strategic investor. The company has received a large strategic investment from Sumitomo Corporation of Americas (SCOA).

The company didn't disclose the amount invested in Rivian, but SCOA reported profits north of $2B for their fiscal year 2017. The company is based in New York, NY, but is a subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation, one of the "worlds leading traders of goods and services."

Leading the investment from SCOA is Sam Kato, Senior Vice President & General Manager of the Auto & Aerospace Group. “Sumitomo Corporation has extensive experience in the global automotive sector and is excited to be a part of Rivian at this important industry inflection point, as autonomy and new customer models begin to reshape the future of personal transportation," Kato said in a press release this morning.

Kato also had high regards for Rivian's management team saying, "RJ has assembled an incredible team that has made significant progress toward advancing Rivian’s exciting vision. Rivian’s technology and products are well positioned to advance these future shifts in personal transportation, and we look forward to backing their success.”

Rivian CEO, RJ Scaringe (Credit: Rivian)

Rivian CEO, RJ Scaringe (Credit: Rivian)

RJ Scaringe, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Rivian, stated, "We are honored and excited to have Sumitomo as a strategic investor. Their global reach, expertise, and network in the automotive sector will help us in executing our vision. This investment reflects the result of our team's hard work in developing our technology and products."

Rivian also unveiled its new website which revealed what we suspected hours before the announcement, the development of an SUV and truck. The company is planning to put the truck variant into production in 2020, followed by a seven-passenger SUV.

The company hasn't disclosed many details on the vehicle's specifications, but they did elaborate, "(Rivian's Truck) delivers unmatched performance, refinement, storage capacity and off-road capability in a unique all-electric package."

The seven-passenger SUV will share the same flexible platform as the truck but will be able to seat more passengers and is designed for slightly different use.

Rivian's vehicles will also have a flurry of advanced features with the following listed on the site: advanced self-driving, robust battery systems, world-class range, all-wheel drive, 0-60 in under four seconds, massive lockage cargo capacity, innovative cargo management systems, and the ability to wade in three feet of water.

Today's announcements from Rivian indicate that the company is preparing to unveil more information about its upcoming vehicles. The company also disclosed the names of three board members, Antony Sheriff, Tom Gale, and John Shook. The three combined have decades of automotive experience, particularly in expanding into new markets, developing new vehicle lines, and designing new types of vehicles.

The company has listed jobs for its Normal, IL plant, seeking applicants for advanced manufacturing positions. The company is also hiring for dozens of other positions at its other locations.