skyote

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There are some good tidbits in here about production & volume.

Do we have any members here with knowledge of production ramp process & volumes? I'm curious how quickly Rivian might be able to hit the first year average of 800 vehicles per week.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...an-seeks-3-in-a-row-ev-debuts-defying-history

Amazon-Backed Rivian Seeks 3-in-a-Row EV Debuts, Defying History

Rivian Automotive Inc., the electric-truck startup backed by Amazon.com Inc., is running the automotive equivalent of a three-ring circus: attempting to launch a trio of new vehicles in a factory that made its last car six years ago.

The push reflects a desire to get out ahead of battery-powered trucks from more established rivals, including a Hummer pickup from General Motors Co. and Tesla Inc.’s Cybertruck. Rivian has high hopes for its pickup and sport-utility vehicle but is counting on an Amazon-dedicated delivery van as a guaranteed source of revenue, said people familiar with the company’s strategy.

Rivian hasn’t publicly stated its production goals, but these people said the startup is building annual capacity for about 300,000 vehicles and aims to make as many as 40,000 in its first full year -- or an average of almost 800 a week. That compares with the nearly 5,000 vehicles a week Tesla manufactured at its factory in Fremont, California, in 2018 -- the first full year of production for the mass-market Model 3 sedan.

Amazon and Ford Motor Co. are providing financing and operational advice, but output of that magnitude across three different models is a tall order for an untested business.

“It’s such a huge step going from producing prototypes to actually putting together a thousand vehicles a week,” said Mark Wakefield, head of the automotive practice in the Americas at consultant AlixPartners LLP, who advises startups. “It’s hard to over-emphasize that point.”

A spokesperson for Rivian declined to comment on its production targets.

Retrofitted Plant

The Irvine, California-based company’s three-vehicle gambit is playing out in a 2.4 million-square-foot factory 38 miles east of Peoria, Illinois, in the central part of the state. The former Mitsubishi Motors Corp. plant has been retrofitted with advanced robotic and other production technology to match the innovation of the vehicles to be manufactured there.

Engineers, technicians and other staff are swarming the plant in an all-out effort to keep the schedule from slipping further after experiencing Covid-19 and supplier-related delays last year. They’ve taken over entire hotels in the college town of Normal, Illinois, where the factory is located. Pre-production builds of Rivian’s R1T pickup and R1S SUV already are moving down a purpose-built, high-tech pilot line, as engineers work the bugs out.

“They are not only launching vehicles, they’re launching a plant,” said Jeff Schuster, president of Americas and global vehicle forecasting at researcher LMC Automotive. “So their risks are stacked.”

Adding to the complexity, Chief Executive Officer R.J. Scaringe is planning to take the company public as soon as the end of this year, and he’s scouting locations for a European factory, according to people familiar with its plans. Rivian is expected to be valued at about $50 billion when it goes public, they said.

The company’s ability to execute on its daring plans rests largely on its ringmaster. The 38-year-old Scaringe, who holds a Ph.D from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is months away from achieving a goal to manufacture EVs set 12 years ago when he founded the company. He later secured seed money from early-stage Saudi and Japanese interests that shared his vision.

Even before making its first car or truck, Rivian made a name for itself based on its innovative flexible-vehicle architecture -- and its fundraising prowess. Scaringe’s vision for zero-emission SUVs and trucks has attracted more than $8 billion in investment from corporate partners and Wall Street institutions including D1 Capital Partners, Fidelity Investments and T. Rowe Price Group Inc.

Daunting Historical Odds

In the high-stakes business of carmaking, rolling out just a single model is an undertaking that has bankrupted many contenders, including DeLorean and Fisker Automotive. And even electric-vehicle market leader Tesla started off with just one car. But starting this summer Rivian plans to pump out its debut battery-powered pickup, SUV and van in the space of a few months.

“Getting off the ground alone is a big deal for an EV startup, but Rivian takes on the added complication of having three models come out in the same year,” said Sam Fiorani, vice president of global vehicle forecasting for researcher AutoForecast Solutions. “How many American automotive companies have started since World War II and been successful? It’s a list of one -- Tesla.”

The CEO’s ambition surpasses what Elon Musk accomplished with Tesla, which started with the low-volume Roadster before slowly ramping up output and expanding its lineup. That Palo Alto, California-based company, founded in 2003 and currently worth about $550 billion, didn’t surpass sales of 40,000 vehicles until 2015 and took another three years to top 300,000 in annual vehicle sales.

The pickup is set to launch in June, followed by the SUV in August and the Amazon van sometime in the fall. The three models are all built atop the same electric “skateboard” platform that is assembled on two dedicated lines. Production then branches off further and vehicles are fitted with what engineers call “top hats” distinguishing them as pickups, SUVs or delivery vans.

Embracing Investors’ Expertise

Tesla repeatedly missed production deadlines when it first attempted to mass produce its bestselling Model 3 sedan. CEO Musk underscored that difficulty in a March 4 tweet about the challenges confronting newer carmakers: “Prototypes are easy, production is hard & being cash flow positive is excruciating.”

But unlike that EV kingpin -- who disdained traditional automotive orthodoxy and learned lessons the hard way -- Rivian has embraced outside expertise in the form of two of its key investors: Amazon and Ford.


Amazon provided assistance last spring to help restore activity at the automaker’s plant after the pandemic temporarily shut down operations. It has ordered 100,000 vans from Rivian over the span of a decade, including 10,000 by late 2022.

Ford provided early advice on manufacturing and engineering. A Ford subsidiary helped with the huge dies that stamp out the body panels of Rivian’s models, said the people knowledgeable about the companies.

Representatives for Amazon and Ford had no comment.

Rivian was planning what would have been a fourth vehicle -- an upscale EV to be co-developed with Ford for its Lincoln luxury line -- but scrapped those plans in April, blaming the pandemic. Ford says it still intends to build a model with Rivian, but when and what type of vehicle remains undecided.

“They’ve got their hands full,” Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s product development chief, said in a recent interview. “We’ve got to let them get through that first.”





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skyote

skyote

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Oh, and open in Chrome incognito mode to avoid the popup/paywall thing.
 

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My guess (based on non-automotive personal experience) is the ramp-up is the gap in time between the R1T and the R1S deliveries, but that 800 / week target is really 2022, so it is possible the goal for 2021 is significantly lower.
 

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My guess (based on non-automotive personal experience) is the ramp-up is the gap in time between the R1T and the R1S deliveries, but that 800 / week target is really 2022, so it is possible the goal for 2021 is significantly lower.
If you take the article as target numbers, 1st full year of 40K means an 800/wk average.
They will be building less than 800/wk to start, and more than 800/wk at the end.

A production ramp might look something like this:
1615307487192.png
 

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So has this forum circled-in on a best guestimate for the qty. of Launch Edition vehicles? Setting aside Amz vans, is there any consensus about the target number of R1T's and R1S's that Rivian hopes to pump out in Q3/Q4 of this year?

For instance, working backwards with hypothetical values...
- goal in 2022 is 800 vehicles/wk
- propose goal in 2021 to reach half that by year-end (400/wk)
- propose ramp rate June-Dec increases 25% monthly
  • Jun 100/wk
  • July 125/wk
  • Aug 156/wk
  • Sep 195/wk
  • Oct 244/wk
  • Nov 305/wk
  • Dec 380/wk
- averaging 215/wk over that 30 weeks
- guestimate of about 6,500 total vehicles in 2021

No clue what the split between R1T and R1S would be, but maybe something like
  • 4,000 R1T L.E.'s and
  • 2,500 R1S L.E.s.

This is all made-up numbers. But probably at least in the ballpark.
 

Bumble1978

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Methinks...the Diptank has a big part to play in the abillity to have that ramp up even be possible. Or does everyone use diptanks now?

It's next-gen innovations for production line doo-dads like this that impress me the most. :)
 

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  • Jun 100/wk
  • July 125/wk
Assuming 2 shifts per day, 5 days a week, those production rates are just barely over 1 vehicle per hour. I certainly hope that they have a better production rate than that to start.

But I think the general assumptions you make look reasonable, other than the very low numbers in the early months.

Maybe I'm just being optimistic in order to better my odds of getting mine sooner than later.
 
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I think there's probably 15K-ish LE vehicles & I think their goal is to produce all of those in 2021. That's 7 months of R1T & 5 months of R1S production (not considering any production prior to June/August respectively).

For 15K vehicles at a 60/40 R1T/R1S split, that's 9K R1T & 6K R1S. That would be an average 1200-1300 of each produced every month in 2021.

I think that's feasible...
 

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Methinks...the Diptank has a big part to play in the abillity to have that ramp up even be possible. Or does everyone use diptanks now?

It's next-gen innovations for production line doo-dads like this that impress me the most. :)
IIRC, the dip tank may be the largest, as they wanted to be able to dip and rotate the body so the solution would then displace any air pockets and thus better protect hard to reach areas. anyone with experience? I would love to learn more.
 

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So to extrapolate this further, who is getting their vehicle, using our order #’s, this year ??
 

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If you take the article as target numbers, 1st full year of 40K means an 800/wk average.
They will be building less than 800/wk to start, and more than 800/wk at the end.

A production ramp might look something like this:
1615307487192.png
It might, but I would expect by 2022, any increases will be more likely step functions (ignoring supply issues or other events) as significant process and line changes are made. I'm having a hard time believing the number of LE vehicles they are planning to deliver in 2021 is less than 10,000, so I'd expect that ramp up in your chart to happen this year.

But I am speculating, and of all the products I've brought to production, none have been cars.
 
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Not uncommon even from established automotive makers to limit a new design "launch or first-edition" to a number like 5,000 max. So 10,000 would seem on the high side, but not over the top either.

Personally I'd be very pleasantly surprised if Rivian intends to produce or deliver more than around 5,000 vehicles (T's & S's) combined in calendar 2021. I know they've repeatedly said the plan is to get all the L.E.'s produced this year. So anything close to 10,000 just seems near impossible to me.




of course, I hope I'm wrong and way under-estimating Rivian's objective for 2021
 

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