Amazon and General Motors are in talks to invest in Rivian Automotive LLC in a deal that will value the U.S. electric pickup truck manufacturer at between $1 billion and $2 billion, people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.
The deal would give Amazon and General Motors minority stakes in Rivian, the sources said. It would be a major boost for the Plymouth, Michigan-based startup, which aspires to be the first carmaker to the U.S. market with an electric pickup.
If the negotiations conclude successfully, a deal could be announced as early as this month, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the matter is confidential. There is always a chance that deal talks fall through, the sources cautioned.
Amazon, General Motors and Rivian did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.
Is this the Rivian rally-inspired electric car?
Most spy shots feature vehicles that are running and driving, but the car in question today doesn't even have wheels yet. In the background of these shots of the Rivian R1T pickup truck, there's a bright blue foam buck. Close examination reveals it to look a bit like a hatchback, and so we think this might be the rally-inspired car Rivian's founder told AutoExpress about a few months ago.
We can see that the profile suggests a hatchback with the long, slowly sloping roofline and windows that extend past the rear door. The lower window line sweeps up aggressively toward the rear, a little reminiscent a Mazda3. The nose also looks relatively long, potentially giving the hatch rear-drive proportions. Not that the shape would be necessary with electric motors and batteries, but Rivian has shown that it still likes using time-tested design in its vehicles with the R1T and R1S, two traditionally boxy, aggressive looking trucks.
According to our spy photographer and his designer source, we shouldn't get too carried away with design speculation from this one prototype. Apparently these design bucks are used for testing sight lines, seating arrangement, ergonomics and such. As a result, the exterior design is far from finished, since most of it won't be seen from the inside. But the window shape does suggest a somewhat curvy hatch, and our photographer notes that the fenders could be similar to production, as they could affect visibility if they're as wide as they appear to be.
We'll be watching the development of this car closely. Based on the R1T and R1S, this hatchback will surely have all-wheel-drive from two electric motors, lots of power and a large amount of ground clearance. And it will probably be relatively pricey.