Rivian has paused its plans, first announced in September, to build electric vans in Europe at a plant operated jointly with Mercedes-Benz.
Rivian said Monday it was pausing the plan to instead focus on its existing vans and consumer vehicles, but remained open to exploring partnerships with Mercedes in the future.
“At this point, we believe that focusing on our consumer business, as well as our existing commercial business, represent the most attractive near-term opportunities to maximize value for Rivian,” RJ Scaringe, CEO and co-founder of Rivian, said in a statement.
Rivian and Mercedes signed a letter of intent in September for a contract to build vans at a newly built plant in Europe. Under the plan, both automakers would build large electric vans at the plant, each using their own platforms.
Rivian Amazon electric delivery truck
Mercedes announced on Monday that it would continue the plant in Jawor, Poland, where Mercedes already builds internal combustion engines and batteries. The automaker said Rivian’s exit from the business will not affect the timeline for building its own van in Jawor.
The Mercedes van will be based on a special EV platform developed for vans, known as Van.EA, which will start production at the Jawor plant in 2025. The Van.EA platform is designed for medium and large electric vans.
Rivian’s van was to be based on a second-generation version of the automaker’s light van platform. The current version underpins Rivian’s EDP delivery van, which was built exclusively for Amazon.
The news comes just weeks after Rivian announced it was delaying by a year a plan to launch a range of smaller, more affordable electric vehicles based on a new R2 platform. The first R2-based models are currently due for 2026.