The Latest News, Rumors and Changes in the Truck World
Rivian Announces $500 Million Investment from Ford
Partnership to Deliver All-New Ford Battery Electric Vehicle
Rivian recently announced an equity investment of $500 million from Ford Motor Company. In addition to the investment, the companies have agreed to work together to develop an all-new, next-generation battery electric vehicle for Ford’s growing EV portfolio using Rivian’s skateboard platform.
“This strategic partnership marks another key milestone in our drive to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility,” said RJ Scaringe, Rivian founder and CEO. “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.”
“We are excited to invest in and partner with Rivian,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman. “I have gotten to know and respect RJ, and we share a common goal to create a sustainable future for our industry through innovation.”
Rivian already has developed two clean-sheet vehicles with adventurers at the core of every design and engineering decision. The company’s launch products—the five-passenger R1T pickup and seven-passenger R1S SUV—will deliver up to 400-plus miles of range and provide an unmatched combination of performance, off-road capability and utility, starting in late 2020.
“As we continue in our transformation of Ford with new forms of intelligent vehicles and
propulsion, this partnership with Rivian brings a fresh approach to both,” said Jim Hackett, Ford president and CEO. “At the same time, we believe Rivian can benefit from Ford’s industrial expertise and resources.”
Ford intends to develop a new vehicle using Rivian’s flexible skateboard platform. This is in addition to Ford’s existing plans to develop a portfolio of battery electric vehicles. As part of its previously announced $11 billion EV investment, Ford already has confirmed two key fully electric vehicles: a Mustang-inspired crossover coming in 2020 and a zero-emissions version of the best-selling F-150 pickup.
Rivian remains an independent company. The investment is subject to customary regulatory approval. Following Ford’s investment, Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of Automotive, will join Rivian’s seven-member board.
All-New 2020 Jeep Gladiator Dominates Annual NWAPA “Mudfest”
The all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator dominated at the 25th annual “Mudfest” competition hosted by the Northwest Automotive Press Association (NWAPA). Jeep won three of the six vehicle categories with the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator taking home top honors, being voted “Northwest Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year” by automotive journalist members of NWAPA.
“The 2019 NWAPA Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year competition featured the most diverse group of vehicles we’ve seen in its 25-year history,” says NWAPA President John Vincent of U.S. News & World Report. “The all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator earned its title of Northwest Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year with an exceptionally functional blend of SUV and pickup attributes that northwest consumers crave.”
In addition to taking overall top honors, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator also earned the win in the Truck and Extreme Capability categories. This is the first time in the event’s 25-year history that a vehicle has captured the Overall, Truck and Extreme Capability categories at once.
More than 25 NWAPA automotive journalists spent two days testing vehicles on paved and off-road routes. Testing took place at The Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Washington. Journalists tested 22 vehicles from 14 manufacturers to select winners in six categories: Subcompact Utility, Compact and Mid-size Utility, Family Utility, Premium Utility, Trucks and Extreme Capability. The overall winner was selected from the category winners to be named the 2019 Northwest Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year.
Ram Unveils Special-Edition Kentucky Derby 2019 Heavy Duty Pickup
Ram Truck unveiled a limited edition of its new 2019 Ram Heavy Duty to commemorate the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby.
The 2019 Ram Heavy Duty Kentucky Derby Edition trucks include features, like 360-degree surround-view camera with trailer-reverse guidance, fifth-wheel/gooseneck prep, active hitch grid lines, air suspension with bed lowering, forward collision warning-plus with trailer braking, bed step and DOT safety kit, to allow customers to tow their cargo with confidence. They also include Ram’s segment-leading Uconnect 12-inch touchscreen radio with Sirius XM 360L and navigation, power-retracting running boards and blind-spot monitoring.
The Kentucky Derby Edition also includes premium full-leather front and rear seats combined with genuine wood and metal trim throughout. Uniquely colored seating features a black and saddle brown hybrid of Limited and Longhorn trims, accented with medium graystone stitching and piping.
The exterior includes an exclusive, premium billet-appearance grille and body-color bumpers. Buyers can choose from seven exterior colors: bright white, pearl white, Delmonico red, diamond black crystal, granite crystal, max steel or patriot blue.
The 2019 Ram Heavy Duty breaks through the 1,000-ft-lb barrier with the powerful 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel and offers the highest towing capability in the segment at 35,100 pounds. Ram Kentucky Derby Edition is available on 2500 or 3500 Limited, Cummins 6.7L Turbo Diesel I-6 or 6.4L Hemi V-8, 4×2 or 4×4, mega cab or crew cab, single rear wheel or dual rear wheel with 6-foot, 4-inch or 8-foot bed lengths. Dual rear wheel models include rear park assist with fender coverage.
Base price is $66,890 plus $1,695 destination charge for Ram 2500 and $68,240 plus $1,695 destination charge for Ram 3500. The Ram Heavy Duty Kentucky Derby Edition is on sale now. Production is limited to 1,000 units.