Cox Automotive to invest $350 million in electric truck maker Rivian

DETROIT (Reuters) - Electric truck maker Rivian Automotive LLC said on Tuesday that it has received an equity investment of $350 million from Cox Automotive Inc, owner of the Autotrader online automobile market and Kelley Blue Book car valuation service.

Rivian said the two companies will also explore opportunities for partnerships in digital retailing, service operations and logistics. Cox will also add a representative to Rivian’s board of directors.

Michigan-based Rivian, a potential rival to Silicon Valley's Tesla Inc TSLA.O founded in 2009, has raised close to $1.9 billion from investors.

In April, Ford Motor Co F.N announced it was investing $500 million in Rivian.

Ford said it will use Rivian’s “skateboard” - a chassis that bundles electric motor, batteries and controls - to build a new vehicle for North America. It did not provide details on what type of vehicle was planned, and where or when it would be built.

In February, Inc AMZN.O said it would lead a $700 million investment in Rivian, which represented a major endorsement of the startup's technology by the world's largest online retailer.

Cox Automotive, a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, also owns Pivet, RideKleen and Manheim, which transports, services, and auctions vehicles across more than 150 global locations.

“Cox Automotive’s global footprint, service and logistics capabilities, and retail technology platform make them a great partner for us,” Rivian Chief Executive Officer RJ Scaringe said in a statement.

Reporting by Nick Carey; Editing by Susan Fenton and Jonathan Oatis