UPDATE: As expected, Rivian did not go into details about the R1T sighting. "We have not made any decision with regards to manufacturing in Europe," a company spokesperson told InsideEVs.
Despite being sold exclusively in North America, the Rivian R1T electric pickup truck has been spotted in Europe several times in previous months.
The sightings naturally sparked rumors about the US EV startup planning to expand to Europe, but Rivian hasn't announced concrete steps in this direction yet. The number of R1T sightings has increased in recent months, though.
After being spotted at an airport in Belgium a year ago, in Spain in November 2022, and at Mercedes-AMG's headquarters in Affalterbach, Germany last month, the Rivian R1T has made yet another appearance in Europe, this time in Stuttgart, Germany.
Spotted by a user of the r/Rivian subreddit, the R1T featured Austrian number plates from the city of Graz. It also had stickers on the tailgate warning about it being a US test vehicle with red indicator lights – cars registered in Europe must have amber turn lights.
The uploader, Reddit user u/Max3000Max, had no specific details to share about this particular Rivian R1T prototype vehicle but did offer some background information regarding this sighting.
He noted that the area around Stuttgart is full of car manufacturers, automotive suppliers, and engineering companies, so it's not unusual to see car mules and prototypes there that don't get sold in Germany and the European Union.
He also wrote that the Graz license plate heavily implies that there is a connection to Magna Steyr, which provides automotive engineering services and also produces cars for third parties – such as the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Jaguar I-Pace, or the Fisker Ocean.
This suggests Rivian may be getting some help from Magna Steyr for the R1T, though it's anyone's guess in what area. The company could offer engineering help to adapt the model to European market requirements or other kind of engineering or production input.
For example, Rivian is looking for ways to lower production costs, and Magna Steyr could help with that. Another possibility is that Rivian may be considering building the R1T at Magna Steyr's factory for sale in Europe. We've contacted Rivian for details and we'll update this story when and if we hear back.