Rivian CEO: R1T & R1S Are Best Driving Truck & SUV In The World

JAN 18 2019 BY VANJA KLJAIC 32

The hardest part of being a carmaker awaits Rivian. Actually making automobiles

For Rivian, it’s been an exciting year. After all, the automotive startup revealed two rather interesting models: a battery-electric concept pickup and full-size SUV. However, with orders on the books, Rivian is now faced with the hardest part of becoming a full-fledged car maker. That would be actually building the ordered vehicles.

However, according to Rivian CEO, RJ Scaringe, this shouldn’t be a problem for this carmaker. After all, his 10-year old company features management sourced from the more experienced parts of the industry. Additionally, there’s a well-capitalized plan, complete with a dedicated factory in Normal, Illinois, ready to kick ass.

Furthermore, Scaring is determined that Rivian will be careful to avoid some of the problems that were faced by other carmakers. Naturally, this mostly concerns Tesla and everything the Fremont-based carmaker went through. Most notably, these items revolve around the production and delivery hells experienced by the carmaker. And those are what Rivian aims to avoid altogether.

In The Words Of Rivian CEO

“We do recognize the complexity of assembling and putting vehicles together, of managing a very complex supply chain and logistics network, and we’re very [cognizant] of the nuts and bolts, and of the need to follow a proper process to ensure that, when we launch the vehicle, it can be launched with as few problems, errors and challenges as possible,” Scaringe said during a fireside chat at the Automotive News World Congress.

Rivian, according to its CEO, plans to begin delivering copies of its R1T electric pickup and R1S electric SUV beginning in 2020. Furthermore, the carmaker also aims to produce four other vehicles. Each are slated to share the same battery and powertrain “skateboard” as the R1T and R1S. All four will be part of the pickup and SUV vehicle segments.

“I think any great brand … to build a brand that customers are going to be excited about and that customers are going to want to be part of, it has to fundamentally reset expectations. It has to disprove untruths,” Scaringe said. Tesla took the untruth that electric cars were boring and slow — that they were glorified golf carts — and they disproved that. They showed people that an electric car can be exciting and fun.”

For the most part, Rivian aims to focus on trucks and off-road-capable SUV. The market for rather capable electric offroaders and heavy-duty trucks is lucrative.

Best In The World Because It Has To Be

“What we need to disprove is that an electric vehicle [can’t] get dirty, and that an electric vehicle [can’t] be rugged, and an electric vehicle [can’t] go off-road and take your family places, and that an off-road vehicle [can’t] be good on-road.We want to get the guy who already has a Range Rover sitting next to a Tesla [in the garage], or the [Jeep] Wrangler sitting next to the [BMW] i3, and grab them with something that was just completely different than what they thought was possible. It will be the best-driving truck or SUV in the world. It must be, because if it’s not, why would somebody pick us over a Ford or over a BMW?”

If Rivian manages to deliver on their promises, they could become a force to be reckoned with in the automotive world rather fast. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Source: Autonews

Categories: Rivian

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32 Comments on "Rivian CEO: R1T & R1S Are Best Driving Truck & SUV In The World"

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You’ve got a love their sheer confidence.

Selling from strength not from fear.

Bring it on Rivian ‼️

The sooner the better. There’s no time to waste.

Rivian would do well to closely study the early history of Tesla Motors. Tesla was started by two or three guys (not including Elon Musk) who thought they could build automobiles like Silicon Valley builds computers. Turns out that hey, a heavy industry like building automobiles is quite a bit different from a light industry like building home computers or laptops, and what works in one industry often doesn’t work at all in another. The learning curve was steep and painful in Tesla’s chaotic early years.

So here’s hoping that Rivian will be making its plans for production based on advice from people who have real experience mass-producing actual automobiles. From the sparse information available on Rivian (including this article), which only recently emerged from stealth mode, I do have some hopes that their plans are based on reality and advice from those with real experience in the field, rather than based on wishful thinking.

Go Rivian!

The news story is pretty much them answering your comment.

All signs seem to point in the direction of them have consulted the correct experts. Time will tell of course, but from all of the background I’ve found on them it seems they are doing things right.

As I understand it they are utilizing Monroe as a consultant, I know folks here have mixed opinions of him, but his organization certainly understands how automotive manufacturing works.

Munro.

Thank you.

Maybe it’s you who should study Tesla’s history? Contrary to some silly folklore, Tesla creators weren’t so dumb as to think they could figure it out by themselves, and don’t need to hire experts with automotive production experience.

The truth is that they underestimated the problems coming up *despite* having experienced people on board.

And it sounds like Rivian might be making the very same mistake.

Wait a minute! We need to test drive how the maneuverbility is!

Four motors, just spin the diagonal sides in opposite directions and it should be able to turn around on its own axis. Can’t get much better than that!

I’m pumped about these guys, however I am concerned about their scale. I’ve not heard any estimated production numbers when they start manufacturing next year. Good for them (aka Tariffs) that almost all of their parts are from USA, and their manufacturing will be in USA. So that will help from a cost/profitability standpoint. However, to take a real chunk out of Ford and GM truck/SUV sales, they will have to scale production awfully fast as they’ve said they will take these products globally (at least to Europe, both LHD and RHD, did not hear about AUS or NZ). Additionally, even though BEVs are much easier to maintain, the nature of these vehicles is to be driven hard (off road, etc.) so they will need to have a very good post-sales service operation – a “ranger”-type system at the very least – to handle what will surely amount to many after-sales repair needs. I’d like to hear more about details about their ramp up numbers and projected sales before hailing these guys as a Company that is going to crush Ford and GM in this category. Good thing is that it’s a huge market, bad thing is that its a… Read more »

Great comment and perspective, Kenneth.

I think there are two plateaus to watch: Can they run the business at any scale and be profitable, even if it means they have 0.05% of the US truck market? And how soon can they bite off a big enough piece of the market to incentivize the major companies to electrify? The first is a high and difficult hurdle, while the second is mind-blowingly hard.

I sincerely hope they make it, but at this early stage I put them in the same category as all the Big Battery Breakthroughs we read about: Show me marketing success and I’ll be your biggest fan, but until then…

Yup great points Lou and all!

Your second “mind blowingly hard” plateau has already been reached. Ford is already planning electric F150’s, and Tesla has electric pick up truck plans. GM has announced plans to electrify their entire product line. That constitutes having been “incentivized”, if that’s an actual word…..

Really good point about the pros and cons to a really large market!

“The market for rather capable electric offroaders and heavy-duty trucks is lucrative.”

Not buying it. Ice powered offroaders can bring in their own fuel to extend the area they wish to traverse our be able to return to the starting point. I’m sure Rivian will sell some trucks and SUVs, but not to serious offroaders.

Agreed, although to be fair, serious off roaders are a VERY small percentage of truck owners. But yeah, I wouldn’t take one of these four wheeling for 4 straight days in the backwater of Death Valley or anything like that.

If you need to go to the middle of nowhere, nothing stops you from putting a generator and a bunch of fuel cans in that bed…

(Admittedly, that realistically only provides level 2 charging speeds at best — should be good enough for a typical safari though I’d think…)

That would negate the point of the vehicle…carrying an ICE on a BEV lol.

Sure, if you need to do that *all* the time, it’s probably not the best use… (Though fuel efficiency might still be better than with a regular combustion engine.)

However, most people would do such a trip only on rare occasions, and charge normally otherwise.

Nothing stops you from putting up a PV tent and charging off that.

Plenty of places to do serious off roading withing the rivian’s range. In fact it is probably hard to find a place over 400 miles from a charger these days.

The guy seems to have a good understanding of marketing, which bodes well.

However, if he truly believes they can avoid production issues, he is being naive. It’s not like Tesla didn’t have experienced people — they still ran into production problems. Even established car makers run into production problems. (Just less publicised.)

I’m excited for Rivian’s products, and wish them success — but I very much doubt they will get them to production without the usual delays and cost overruns. If their business plan hinges on it, they might be in serious trouble.

Tesla and Elon are saying Tesla truck coming soon. What if Tesla and Rivian secretly designed this together ? This truck and SUV with auto pilot! Wishful thinking I know 🙂

You should read up on the planned specs for Rivian vehicles…..already in the works, without Tesla involvement.

Rivian is working on their own level 3, they do not need Tesla.

IIRC they aren’t working on anything themselves — just using whatever MobilEye can come up with?…

Easy to say when there are none. Also cannot be true – except about the truck. No one makes one yet. The SUV – simply not true. The Best driving Electric SUV must be one that actually exists.

They do have at least one prototype…

I guess these startup CEOs are in full bravado mode. Show me a product first. Then you can brag.

I just wish they would make a drop down gate for the “Frunk” like the Bollinger B1 and Atlis concept

Is the battery in the actual front? If not, it almost makes no sense to shape the vehicle as if there was an engine in there.