My one deciding factor on converting a deposit to a purchase

cskatx

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It won't be the color choices, or the number and placement of cup holders. It won't be about how cool the R1T bed controls can be, or the availability of a bike rack. It won't even really be about the price. For me, the one issue that will determine if my deposit becomes a confirmed order is this: how do I get service.

Even if there are no low serial-number mechanical defects, something might need attention. And when that happens, what?

Look at Tesla; there are folks with no issues, but of those who do have issues, the complaints appear to overwhelmingly be about service.

I realize that for many folks the coolness and utility of the Rivian will dominate their decision making. So maybe folks like me fall in a different purchase demographic; closer to Geoffrey Moore's "early majority" than to "early adopters." On the other hand, if Rivan ships with a reasonably crisp support model, the number of potential buyers will dramatically increase. That might be a negative, if Rivian wants more time for start up manufacturing. Or a positive, if they want to aggressively ramp up production and use early mover advantage to completely dominate their market (albeit while managing the accelerated ramp up risks).

I wonder how many folks on this forum would fall into a similar decision making priority? Perhaps most of the Rivian audience here is willing to de-prioritize the support and service topic. My Tesla early adopter friends did that because it was going to be either an extra car or one they could do without for weeks at a time, and what they really wanted was to own a Tesla.

What's your view?
 

Kickaha

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I have an early Model X and I have had issues but Tesla handled them very quickly and at no cost to me. Our Tesls is our only car and I am always provided with a Tesla loaner and any problem is resolved quickly (overnight in only 1 case). I have no complaints about Tesla service. In fact, I hope Rivian's service is as good.

It is a very good point - what is Rivian's plan for service? They could go a few ways - Ford, Cox or their own plan. Training and having Ford provide service for Rivians terrifies me. I have had 2 Fords and while the vehicles were "okay", service was horrible - two vehicles in two states serviced at 4 dealerships. A limited sample set but it is what it is. I have no experience with Cox. Rivian could also have its own service centers but I get the impression that their entire focus is on building a great vehicle. I am sure they have service plan but I have not ready anything, other than hints, on what it might be.

Your point about reservation holders converting to buyers may depend on service is very valid. With all the EVs coming to market in the next two years, service could very well be a differentiator for Rivian - or the thing that sinks the brand.
 

electruck

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Knowing Rivian has been paying careful attention to the trials and tribulations of Tesla in particular, I have little doubt that they will deliver an acceptable service model. I do however expect that service, just like everything else at Rivian, will scale and mature over time so the first few months after the initial deliveries will not likely be as seamless an experience for all customers as it will be 2 years down the road.
 

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And following on what has been said already, much of the service equation will depend on where you live. Look at where Rivian pre-order holders on this forum live. Within California, Texas, New York and Washington, do you live near one of the metropolitan centers or not?

Like Kickaha's Model X experience, early reservation holders will likely get exceptional attention and service, depending on where they live. I'm near San Jose, where there's a sizable contingent of Rivian employees, so I expect to be one of the well taken care early reservation holders. But if I was in Bakersfield or Redding, not so much.

Timing is increasingly pivotal. When are the Rivians coming? The sooner, the better. There's a slew of new BEVs coming to market, many of them trucks, and the trick is not to be left in the shuffle. The sooner Rivian can get to market and showcase its service model, its on and off road performance, and its superior design and build quality - assuming all of this is true - the better.

Getting the configurator running, getting back to work in Normal, getting early production run vehicles out in the field and tested - all of that, the sooner, the better. Fingers and toes crossed.
 
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DucRider

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Polestar is taking a very different approach from what we have seen before. If you live within 150 miles of one of their "spaces"(NY, LA and SF Bay in 2020, then 5 more locations in 2021) - they will deliver of your new vehicle and offer pick-up/delivery for service.
I find it a bit odd that the press release does not mention that this will be free, only that it is available.
 

ElectricTrucking

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If the Hummer arrives with excellent stats, a 4 year bumper to bumper, and 8 years on the battery it will catch a lot of eyes including my own.
 

alanpine

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Agree totally on the need to demonstrate a reasonable service infrastructure before I commit to buying. Like you, I wonder whether they'll be doing something with Ford or through Cox instead of going out on their own for service.

I appreciate how Rivian has played everything close to the vest and are making sure they don't overpromise and underdeliver. However, I think this is one of a few places that they need to put info out sooner rather than later. "We haven't announced that yet." is getting maddening.
 

UP Finn

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The getting service aspect is not very important to me. I trust that Rivian will produce a good product for $70k. If I was worried about the vehicle breaking down or needing service, I wouldn't buy it. That's my 2 cents....
 

ajdelange

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A lot of people who assumed that Tesla would produce a good product (and they do) at over $100 K have had appalling experiences with Tesla service especially during the big production ramp ups. Like you service really isn't that important to me - except when I need service. The R1T or R1S that is delivered to us is going to be a very highly sophisticated machine with a very, very short production history. Some of them are going to fail dramatically in awkward places in the first few years. I'll need at satisfying answer to the question "What happens if it breaks down on I91 in the middle of Vermont?" before I actually buy one. If the answer is "You will have to arrange to have it flat bedded to Normal" I wont buy it. If the answer is "The Ford dealer in St. J will be there with a loaner on a flatbed within the hour." I will.
 

skyote

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I thought the official answer is that it will be a mobile service model, provided by Cox. And if a vehicle needs to go to a repair center that they would come get it, then drop it off after it's fixed.

Sounds great to me, and I have confidence in the scale & expertise of Cox...much better than a dealership service model.

What are the additional concerns here?
 

Kickaha

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Yes, service is not critical - until it is. For example, you are overlanding around Moab or in camping in Yellowstone and something breaks, preventing driving. What happens?

I completely understand keeping things confidential before launch. However, with ~6 months to go until production ramp, its time to start the hypetrain. There are numerous EV alternatives to Rivian (although none targeted specifically at the adventure vehicle market like Rivian) but before people plunk down $75K+, they want to know about things like service (and options and charging, etc.). While some people may say not knowing about service is not a deal breaker, I still contend that it is a factor in pulling the trigger from reservation to purchase - whether they consciously acknowledge that or not.

I am excited about having an R1T but I am unwilling to commit without knowing (and feeling comfortable) with service. This close to launch, they know - they MUST know. If they dont have a solid plan, are training techs, have rollout and pricing plans, that IS a deal breaker because that shows a lack of preparedness to go to market. I am confident this is not the case but until they start communicating, all we have is speculation.

Rivian needs to have a marketing plan to rollout tidbits every 2 weeks to 1 month in advance of production. They have done videos highlighting the vehicles and what you can do with them - thats great to generate customer interest, but now, they need to focus on the technicals of ownership. Rivian should have a video per month explaining how you configure your vehicle, what is the delivery process going to be like, how do you get service, and other ownership topics.

Without a lot of these questions answered, many of the reservation holders may not convert to purchase.
 

cohall

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I thought the official answer is that it will be a mobile service model, provided by Cox. And if a vehicle needs to go to a repair center that they would come get it, then drop it off after it's fixed.

Sounds great to me, and I have confidence in the scale & expertise of Cox...much better than a dealership service model.

What are the additional concerns here?
Yes, they've officially said it's a white-glove on-site type of service model, leveraging all the data that they have access to on the cars so they come prepared to make the appropriate repair(s). If not fixable on-site, then they will do a pickup/dropoff service, and I'm assuming will leave you with a loaner if needed.

I'm also not quite sure what the concern is.
 

Coast2Coast

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Kickaha, I couldn't agree more. Now is the time to initiate a once every 2-3 weeks release and promotion of solid information: battery supplier/s, degree of completion on getting production started at Normal (this could be sub-divided into specialized areas and degrees of completion, such as paint, battery supply, testing, and sub- and main transfer lines), service plans, warranty plans, and so on.

When Rivian announced in LA on November 2018, it was the only BEV truck in town. That's no longer the case. It's not even certain it will be the first BEV truck to market.

While no one else is specifically targeting the adventure market, as Rivian is, the first BEV trucks out of the gate will garner a disproportionate amount of attention and free marketing. It would be a shame if Rivian goes from being a front runner to an also ran.

In the larger picture, some particular features of Rivians will get a huge amount of attention. For the auto press, performance & dimensions are always top-billed items. For pre-order holders, delivery dates, financing and service are likely to be key categories of greatest concern.

We're getting close to a six month window before production begins. Rivian, please give us more solid information on what's happening.
 
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cskatx

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Yes, they've officially said it's a white-glove on-site type of service model, leveraging all the data that they have access to on the cars so they come prepared to make the appropriate repair(s). If not fixable on-site, then they will do a pickup/dropoff service, and I'm assuming will leave you with a loaner if needed.

I'm also not quite sure what the concern is.
That's awesome. I'd not seen this. Could you point me to where on their website they state their policy? Thank you!
 
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