The coronavirus pandemic has caused a tremendous amount of economic stress for Detroit’s automakers. With production facilities still shuttered and dealerships still closed, sales are at an all-time low. The virus has even postponed the release of models like the Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport, but we now have the first automotive casualty of the pandemic. Automotive News reports that the Lincoln EV co-developed with Rivian has officially gotten the axe.
Lincoln dealers were informed of the cancelation on Tuesday, according to Automotive News. The statement said while a Lincoln EV will join the lineup eventually, potentially even one co-developed with Rivian, the current situation with the coronavirus has ended previous development plans. This marks the first cancelation of an upcoming model in the United States as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
We first reported on this collaborative project between Lincoln and Rivian back in February, when it was confirmed by Ford that they would be co-developing the electric luxury vehicle using Rivian’s skateboard platform. The news came after Ford’s $500 million investment into the Michigan-based electric car company. While the automaker was rather coy about the type of vehicle that would ride on this EV chassis, it was hinted that it would be an SUV of some kind, most likely of the crossover variety. The project would have resulted in the first fully electric vehicle in the brand’s history.
So for the time being, it appears that Lincoln will remain without an electric vehicle in its lineup. That’s a shame, as Rivian’s skateboard chassis could have helped the Lincoln EV reach a level of refinement and luxury currently not on offer from the brand’s ICE-powered lineup. This doesn’t entirely spell the end of the partnership between Rivian and Lincoln, but given the circumstances surrounding the entire auto industry, this isn’t the most surprising news.