The automaker said on Tuesday that it will now let other companies buy its commercial electric vans, ending an exclusivity deal that Amazon secured when it pumped more than a billion dollars into Rivian in 2019. Both companies’ stock prices rose following the announcement, which they timed with Rivian’s third-quarter earnings report.
Rivian was in talks with Amazon back in March to strip out their exclusivity clause ahead of time. The original exclusivity arrangement was set to end after Rivian delivered a total of 100,000 electric vans, sometime before the end of the decade. Rivian said during its investor call that it still plans to come through on Amazon’s goal.
“We’ve been working on the exclusivity agreement with Amazon for a while,” said Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe on Tuesday during an investor call. “With that, we’ve been building relationships with a diverse set of commercial operators, and that’s everything from last-mile to retail.”
Amazon boasted in October that it had 10,000 Rivian-built vans on roads, meeting a 2023 sales threshold set by the companies. That may sound like a whole lot of vans, and it is, but the retail giant’s 10,000 van orders were reportedly “on the low end of a range Amazon had communicated earlier to the auto maker,” The Wall Street Journal wrote in March. Hence, the talks to call the exclusivity agreement early.