Supply chain and production issues are plaguing the automotive industry at all levels currently and no company can say it has been unaffected. Rivian is no exception and after its seat supplier, the Commercial Vehicle Group founded in 2000 and based in New Albany, Ohio, reportedly threatened the startup that it would not supply seats unless it agreed to pay around two times more than they had initially agreed upon.
According to this report published by The Wall Street Journal, if this dispute is not settled, then it could affect production of the electric delivery van, the one ordered by Amazon, with the specific Amazon variants called RPV, short for Amazon-Rivian Prime Van (the models are generally known as the EDV 500 and EDV 700). However, the supplier denies the price doubling claims, arguing that there was no legal constraint for it to stick to the initially agreed-upon price, especially since Rivian reportedly submitted several design and engineering changes.
Gallery: Rivian Manufacturing Plant In Normal, IL
If Rivian does not settle this dispute, then it will be left without a seat supplier, since the company also stated that it has no alternative - no other company will build them the custom seating arrangement that they need for the van, so if Commercial Vehicle Group stops supplying seats, Rivian will have no choice but to stop van production.
Rivian recently started production of the Amazon van, which is being ramped up, and the Normal, Illinois factory where some 5,200 employees work, built some 2,553 vehicles in the first quarter of 2022. But they still have a lot of ramping up to do to not only meet the huge Amazon order for 100,000 vans, as well as around 83,000 R1T and R1S models for private customers.
The company also lowered its production target for 2022 by half, from 50,000 to 25,000 vehicles, citing the now ever-present supply issues. However, the factory reportedly has an annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles and Rivian wants to come close to that in 2023.