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Key global auto giants join bandwagon of electric car manufacturing

Just as Ford Motor Company has made a major investment in Rivian, a Michigan-based electric vehicle producer to pump in about $500m for the production of electric cars, South Korean auto major, Hyundai said it will unveil its first electric vehicle ‘Kona‘ SUV into India in July, this year.
The Korean group said the move followed a brand new ‘Grand i10’ it has launched earlier to push up its share in the auto market.
Hyundai, which is present in India through its wholly-owned subsidiary Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL), is planning to start exporting its latest compact SUV ‘Venue’ from its Chennai factory in the next 3-4 months.
HMIL Senior General Manager and Group Head (Marketing) Puneet Anand told PTI that “We are constantly adding new products in our portfolio for the Indian market. We will launch our electric SUV ‘Kona’ in India in July.”
Though Anand was mute on the share specification details of the proposed sports utility vehicle planned for India, Business Hilights recalls that Ford Auto had made waves at last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show with its striking, long-range, all-electric R1S SUV and the R1T pickup truck.
hyundai GroupFord, popularly known as ‘The Blue Oval’ is pouring $500 million into the brand and has confirmed via an official release that it will develop an exclusive, new electric vehicle from a Rivian platform. According to Ford, this new vehicle will exist in addition to its current battery electric plans, which include an all-electric, Mustang-inspired crossover and an electrified F-150 pickup.
In a recent international press briefing, Ford confirmed that Rivian will assemble the skateboard platform at its Normal, Illinois factory, but that the Blue Oval would handle production. The automaker didn’t go so far as to say where final assembly would be or for what brand or market it would compete in. But the two companies confirmed that the Ford vehicle wouldn’t necessarily compete with Rivian’s entries.
With the deal, Ford’s Joe Hinrichs is also set to join Rivian’s board of directors as part agreement.
Rivian boss, RJ Scaringe said “Ford has a long-standing commitment to sustainability, with Bill Ford being one of the industry’s earliest advocates, and we are excited to use our technology to get more electric vehicles on the road.”
Scaringe, who addressed reporters confirmed his company had discussed partnerships with other automakers. Rumors had put GM in the running, and Scaringe said there could be applications with other partners down the road, but that it was focused on executing with Ford.
As for Ford’s partnership with Volkswagen, the Blue Oval says it won’t have an impact. According to Hinrichs, Rivian’s skateboard platform and VW’s MEB architecture help the company in different areas.
It’s still early days for this partnership, but following its alliance with Volkswagen, Ford’s investment in Rivian is yet another reminder of how serious the company is about pushing into electrification.