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Rivian and Mercedes pause plans to build electric vans together in Europe

This Nov. 14, 2018, file photo shows a Rivian R1T at Rivian headquarters in Plymouth, Mich. Shares in Rivian Automotive are set to trade publicly on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, and the world should get a better idea of just how hot investors are for the electric vehicle market.

Rivian says it’s canceling plans to build electric vans with Mercedes-Benz in Europe, just three months after their joint venture was announced.

Rivian is calling it a “pause” in the partnership. The company says it wants to focus on its consumer business and existing commercial business — which is making vans for Amazon. The e-commerce giant and (Rivian investor) has ordered 100,000 vans from Rivian.

“As we evaluate growth opportunities, we pursue the best risk-adjusted returns on our capital investments. At this point in time, we believe focusing on our consumer business, as well as our existing commercial business, represent the most attractive near-term opportunities to maximize value for Rivian,” Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe said in a statement. “We share the same goal as Mercedes-Benz Vans, to help the world transition to electric vehicles, and we look forward to exploring opportunities with them at a more appropriate time for Rivian.”

Rivian and Mercedes had planned a new joint venture manufacturing company that would build a new plant somewhere in Europe. It wasn’t expected to impact Rivian’s plans in Normal.

It’s at least the second public partnership to be quickly scuttled. Rivian and Ford’s luxury brand Lincoln announced and then abruptly canceled plans to jointly develop a vehicle together. That was at the start of the pandemic.

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