GM Talks With Amazon-Backed Electric Truckmaker Rivian May Be Dead

Talks between General Motors and electric-vehicle startup Rivian about the largest U.S. carmaker buying an equity stake have reached an impasse and may be dead, people familiar with the matter said.

GM Rivian

GM had negotiated potentially taking a stake in Rivian and forging a partnership that may have helped the Plymouth, Michigan-based startup bring fully electric trucks and SUVs to market faster. GM was widely expected to become a strategic investor alongside Amazon, which in February led a $700 million equity raise by the closely held company.

Discussions ended in the past two weeks, with Rivian founder R.J. Scaringe wanting to keep his options open, said one of the people. Rivian has had several other potential suitors take a look, the person said. If GM can’t find a way to resurrect a deal, the automaker will continue developing its own electric pickup truck, which is in early stages of development.

“As we have stated, we admire Rivian’s contribution to a future of zero emissions and an all-electric future,” GM spokesman Pat Morrissey said in an emailed statement. “Talks occur on a regular basis in the auto industry between a variety of partners, but as a matter of policy we don’t discuss who, where or when those discussions might occur.”

A deal would have contributed to both sides achieving key goals. GM would be able to introduce an electric pickup quicker than it could with its own internal engineering, and Rivian would benefit from the larger automaker’s manufacturing prowess and global purchasing muscle.

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