On September 8, Mercedes Benz vans announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with rivian, an electric vehicle manufacturer, to establish a strategic partnership. The two sides will cooperate to produce electric commercial vehicles in the future. Mercedes Benz pointed out in the statement that it hopes to use its existing bases in central and Eastern Europe to build new production facilities for pure electric commercial vehicles.
If the final binding agreement can be reached and the relevant regulatory license can be obtained, the two sides intend to establish a new joint venture manufacturing company within a few years, and invest in and operate a factory in Europe to produce large-scale electric trucks for Mercedes Benz commercial vehicles and rivian.
This transaction does provide rivian with a significant advantage because it positions the brand in its first manufacturing base outside the United States. Dan ives, an analyst at wedbush, said: "this is an important step towards the European strategy together with key partners such as Mercedes." "Rivian has a unique window of opportunity to seize business opportunities in Europe in 2023 and beyond."
Rivian pointed out in his press release that one of the goals of the cooperation is to share manufacturing costs between the two companies. Through cooperation, the two sides will be able to make use of operational synergies and greatly improve cost efficiency. In April this year, Mercedes Benz commercial vehicle company said that its orders were full, but the factory was trying to cope with supply chain challenges.
The two companies plan to optimize the car design so that it can be produced efficiently on GM's assembly line. Both parties plan to produce two large commercial vehicles, one based on the Mercedes Benz pure electric commercial vehicle platform van EA (MB vans electric Architecture), the other is rivian based second-generation electric light vehicle platform RLV (rivian light van).
In addition, the two sides will further explore ways to improve the synergy of the joint venture.
Mathias Geisen, head of Mercedes Benz commercial vehicle, said that he and rivian will each hold half of the shares of the joint venture, and the negotiation between the two sides will be concluded soon.
"We have a lot of expertise in the industrialization of (commercial vehicles)... But on the other hand, rivian has brought a lot of new technical expertise in electric transportation." Geisen also revealed that this cooperation with rivian will not affect its cooperation with Renault and Nissan in the field of small electric commercial vehicles.
For rivian, the cooperation with Mercedes Benz is of key significance. Due to supply chain disruptions and rising raw material prices, rivian has made layoffs and postponed product plans, and is trying to increase the output of its Illinois plant.
Rivian's share price has dropped nearly 68% since the beginning of this year. Sharing the cost of a European assembly plant with Mercedes Benz will help rivian save cash and save money for its second plant planned to be built in the United States in 2025.
In terms of production capacity, rivian produced 4401 vehicles in the second quarter, an increase of 72% over the previous quarter. 4467 vehicles were delivered, an increase of 264% over the first quarter. Rivian also reiterated that it is on track to meet the production target of 25000 electric vehicles in 2022, but this is only half of its initial estimate of 50000.
For Mercedes Benz, this is also the latest cooperation after the cooperation with Infiniti and BYD.
In 2010, due to the increasingly stringent European emission regulations, Mercedes Benz and Renault Nissan Alliance exchanged capital that year and began to jointly develop small displacement turbocharged engines.
Subsequently, Mercedes Benz's small cars began to use the platform technology and engine of the Renault Nissan Alliance, and helped Mercedes Benz achieve great success in entry-level models. Infiniti also used Mercedes Benz's MFA platform and m274930 2.0T engine, but the effect was not satisfactory.
In addition, the brand Tengshi, which Mercedes Benz cooperated with BYD, was also owned by BYD after many years. Therefore, some European netizens also said, "I am interested in seeing if this is better than Ford / rivian or MB / Infiniti transactions."
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