Coronavirus infects the future of 2 electric pickups

GMC and Lincoln adjust plans

GMC HUMMER EV reveal postponed from May 20.

While many new-vehicle introductions are being delayed amid COVID-19 restrictions (including Corvette and Mustang Mach-E), GMC postponed the debut of its electric Hummer and Lincoln pulled the plug on a partnership with Rivian to develop a luxury electric pickup.

GMC announced today (April 29) that its Hummer EV reveal will be postponed from a May 20 dealer meeting in Las Vegas. In a release, GMC wrote: “While we cannot wait to show the GMC HUMMER EV to the world, we will reschedule the May 20 reveal date. In the meantime, the team’s development work continues on track and undeterred. We invite all to stay tuned for more stories on this super truck’s incredible capability leading up to its official debut. More information is available at www.gmc.com/HummerEV.

According to a report by Richard Truett in Automotive News, a spokesman said GM will look at all options, including a virtual event, when it reschedules the reveal “as the pandemic continues to affect all parts of business.”

“GM plans to build the Hummer at its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant, which was being retooled to become GM’s EV manufacturing hub. Construction has been put on hold to comply with Michigan’s stay-at-home order. It’s unclear when the project will resume, but Michigan’s governor is planning to allow construction activities to resume in the state May 7.

“With GM’s designers and engineers unable to go to work at GM’s Tech Center in Warren, Mich., most development work has stopped. But GM says the Hummer pickup will go on sale in late 2021 as planned.”

Lincoln cancels Rivian EV partnership

And worse, Lincoln sent out a release on Tuesday, April 28 that it has shelved plans to develop an electric pickup with Rivian.

In the release, Lincoln said: “Given the current environment, Lincoln and Rivian have decided not to pursue the development of a fully electric vehicle based on Rivian’s skateboard platform. Ford Motor Company’s strategic commitment to Lincoln, Rivian and electrification remains unchanged and Lincoln’s future plans will include an all-electric vehicle consistent with its Quiet Flight DNA.”

According to a report by Michael Martinez in Automotive News: “Lincoln said it was still committed to its partnership with Rivian and would continue to work with the EV startup ‘on an alternative vehicle based on Rivian’s skateboard platform.’

“Ford Motor invested $500 million in Rivian last year.”

It was Jan. 29, 2020, when Lincoln shared news of the Rivian partnership to develop an all-new electric vehicle previously announced as part of Ford Motor Co.’s original investment in Rivian.

“Lincoln’s first fully electric vehicle will join the Aviator and Corsair Grand Touring plug-in hybrid vehicles, further solidifying Lincoln’s commitment to electrification,” Joy Falotico, president, The Lincoln Motor Co., said in the statement. “The zero-emissions vehicle will feature connected and intuitive technologies designed to create an effortless experience for Lincoln clients.

“Working with Rivian marks a pivotal point for Lincoln as we move toward a future that includes fully electric vehicles,” said Falotico. “This vehicle will take Quiet Flight to a new place – zero emissions, effortless performance and connected and intuitive technology. It’s going to be stunning.”

The Lincoln battery electric vehicle was to be built off of Rivian’s flexible skateboard platform. It was part of Ford’s previously announced investment of more than $11.5 billion into electrification, which includes the Mustang Mach-E and a fully electric version of the best-selling F-150 pickup.

“Our vehicle development partnership with Ford is an exciting opportunity to pair our technology with Lincoln’s vision for innovation and refinement. We are proud to collaborate on Lincoln’s first fully electric vehicle,” said Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe.

markmaynard@cox.net


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