Amazon and General Motors are currently negotiating a deal valued at $1 - $2 billion with Rivian Automotive LLC, a Michigan-based start-up specializing in electric pickup truck manufacturing. Rivian intends to begin selling its R1T, the pickup it debuted in November, in the fall of 2020.
If successful, this deal will give minority stakes to both Amazon and GM, but will be a milestone for Rivian as it aspires to be the first car maker in the U.S with electric pickup. If the negotiations conclude successfully, a deal could be announced as early as this month.
Tesla, currently the world’s biggest electric car maker, may have a tough time competing with this deal as it is already struggling to balance the production and profits of its flagship Model 3 sedan. However, Tesla’s CEO already has plans to launch its own electric pickup right after its Model Y starts production in 2020. He further adds an electric pickup is ‘probably my personal favorite for the next product.’
As for Amazon, the company has already invested $530 million in self-driving car start up Aurora. Over the years the world’s largest online retailer has steadily increased its logistics footprint, by building warehouses across the globe and by striking deals with car-makers like Mercedes as well as cargo airlines to help with its delivery.