Electric Truck Maker Rivian Delays Deliveries of the R1T Pickup Until September
Reservation holders eager to receive their new electric pickup truck from EV startup Rivian will have to wait a few more months. The company announced that it has pushed forward production of the The R1T Launch Edition electric pickup a second time to September. The truck was originally scheduled to be delivered in June, but last month Rivian pushed deliveries to July.
In an email sent to R1T reservations holders, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe cited multiple factors for the delays. Among these are the global chip shortage which is affecting auto production worldwide. The Rivian CEO also cited the pandemic, which he said had a compounding effect on construction progress at its factory in Normal, Illinois.
"The cascading impacts of the pandemic have had a compounding effect greater than anyone anticipated. Everything from facility construction, to equipment installation, to vehicle component supply (especially semiconductors) has been impacted by the pandemic," Scaringe wrote.
Scaringe added that Rivian's teams in Illinois are working around the clock to ramp up production of the R1T and companion R1S SUV, as well as its commercial vans that its builds for e-commerce giant Amazon, an investor in Rivian. Amazon ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian, which were custom-built to meet Amazon's needs.
The plant has already built "hundreds" of test vehicles as part of Rivian's validation process.
"We know you can't wait to get behind the wheel of your vehicle. Earlier this summer, we announced that deliveries would begin in July; however, the timing for the first deliveries of the R1T has shifted to September, with the R1S shortly thereafter in the fall. I wanted to be sure you heard this from me directly," Scaringe wrote in the email to reservation holders.
Rivian said that All R1T and R1S Launch Edition pre-order holders will hear from their Guide by the end of November with their expected delivery timing. Each Rivian customer is assigned a "Guide" to walk them through the entire process of purchasing one of the company's electric vehicles. The Rivian Guides serve as product experts and a liaison to the company.
In the meantime, Rivian is inviting reservation holders to attend one of its "drive programs'', which will begin in August. The drive program allows customers to get behind the wheel and experience the R1T Launch Edition in-person.
The experiences will be available in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Detroit and Seattle. More cities are being announced soon, according to Rivian.
Rivian's drive program includes two types of experiences, at-home drives and tour events. For Rivian's at-home drives, customers can schedule the date and time that's most convenient, and the automaker will bring the vehicle to the customer's location.
Customers can choose between an in-depth walkaround by one of Rivian's team members or opt for a self-guided tour. In addition to driving an R1T pickup, customers can look at paint selections and interior choices in person.
Rivian's team will give demonstrations on everything from how features work and charging at home, to what customers can expect during the online ordering process.
Rivian's CEO said he's excited for customers to experience the combination of refinement, capability and performance of the company's electric vehicles, and wrote that it will be "worth the wait."
As one of the most talked about companies since Tesla launched the Model S in 2012, all eyes are on Rivan, especially since its announced plans to launch an IPO later this year. So the company has a lot riding on a smooth launch of its first electric vehicle.
"We believe it is critical for both our long term success and your ultimate satisfaction that the quality and robustness of our launch products truly sets the tone for what to expect from us as a brand," Scaringe wrote in the email to reservation holders.
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