DETROIT — The electric vehicle that Ford Motor Co. is developing with startup Rivian will be badged as a Lincoln.
The vehicle, built on Rivian's flexible skateboard platform, will be Lincoln's first EV, Lincoln said in a statement. The brand did not say what type of vehicle it will be, where it will be assembled or when it will go on sale.
Ford last year invested US$500 million in Rivian.
"Working with Rivian marks a pivotal point for Lincoln as we move toward a future that includes fully electric vehicles," Lincoln President Joy Falotico said in a statement. "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."
MotorTrend last week reported the Rivian vehicle would be a Lincoln, quoting Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe as saying it would be "in the SUV space" and "very different" from Rivian's own R1S utility, due this year.
Rivian's plant in Normal, Ill., already is being configured for three vehicles: the R1T electric pickup, the R1S and a large delivery van for Amazon, which has placed an order for 100,000 units. When Mitsubishi operated the 1.9 million-square-foot plant, it had an annual capacity of 240,000 vehicles and could build both cars and SUVs.
A Rivian spokeswoman said she had no details on production of the Lincoln vehicle. It's unclear whether Rivian would assemble it or ship the vehicle's skateboard chassis to a Ford plant for final assembly.
"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," Scaringe said in the statement released by Lincoln.
The UAW, which struck General Motors for 40 days last fall, said it hopes Rivian will employ UAW-represented workers at the factory in Normal, where Mitsubishi workers were represented by the union.
“Given the UAW’s history in Normal and our history with Ford Motor Co., we look forward to these jobs returning and UAW members having the opportunity once again to organize and form their local union,” Ron McInroy, the union’s director of the region that includes Normal, said in a statement.
Rivian will respect whether employees choose to be represented by a union, a spokeswoman said.
Lincoln has invested heavily in electrification but mostly focused on plug-in hybrid models of its current crossovers, including the Aviator and Corsair. Its U.S. luxury rival, Cadillac, has vowed to lead General Motors' electrification efforts, with brand President Steve Carlisle saying that by 2030, the majority — if not all — Cadillacs sold will be battery-electric.
Separately, Lincoln confirmed Wednesday that North American production of the MKZ sedan would end this year, with sales likely continuing until early 2021. Automotive News reported in September that the MKZ would be phased out in 2021. The death of the MKZ will end Lincoln's "MK" naming scheme, which it had been slowly phasing out by renaming vehicles throughout its lineup.
Officials declined to say whether the Continental will be dropped, which Automotive News also has reported will end production in the U.S. in 2021.
Bloomberg and Richard Truett contributed to this report.