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Rivian says no plans to produce vehicles with VW after media report on early talks

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Rivian says no plans to produce vehicles with VW after media report on early talks

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) -Rivian on Tuesday said it had no plans to produce vehicles with Volkswagen after a media report said the U.S. electric vehicle maker was in early talks with the German automaker to extend a recent partnership beyond software.

Shares of Rivian dipped 1.5% in extended trade.

German newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter, that an extended partnership might include producing Rivian’s smaller and less expensive R2 SUVs at VW’s South Carolina plant that is currently being built.

“There are no plans for production of vehicles with Volkswagen Group,” a Rivian spokesperson said in an email to Reuters. Volkswagen declined to comment on the media report and said its clear focus was on the JV.

Rivian has not changed its plans to start producing the R2 at its manufacturing facility in Normal, Illinois, followed by production at a planned Georgia plant, the Rivian spokesperson said.

The companies said last week that VW would invest up to $5 billion in Rivian as part of a deal to share electrical architecture and software – a big shot in the arm for the startup amid slowing EV demand. For VW, the JV gives much needed EV technology that traditional automakers have struggled to build.

VW has said it plans to produce its Scout-branded electric SUVs and pickups at the South Carolina plant from 2026. A spokesperson for Scout Motors said, “We have not had any conversations about producing Rivian vehicles.”

(Reporting by Abhirup Roy in San Francisco and Victoria Waldersee in Berlin; Editing by Cynthia OstermanAdditional reporting by Noel Randewich in Oakland, CaliforniaEditing by Matthew Lewis)