Possible First Peek at Rivian's Future Rally Model

Nuclearn8

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Let's get back to the R1R discussion. No one in here is going to save the global environment or climate by driving a Rivian.
 

skyote

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I'm intrigued by everything Rivian & I think the Rally model will be an exciting offering. I'm guessing it will be an option for more mainstream buyers, being smaller & probably more affordable, presumably still with impressive performance.

I look forward to hearing more about it, but I'm still solidly R1S.
 

Nuclearn8

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I hope Rivian unveils their smaller more affordable adventure model lineup some time in 2020... In this lineup, I can see them simply destroying the 2 door wrangler and bronco marketshare with a direct EV competitor and also a crossover sized EV to take a nice portion of the largest volume sales market in North America (compete with the outback and rav4 etc...) once they reach operating capacity of the Normal plant. I like their approach, impatiently waiting... give us something a teaser or something...
 

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I am very much interested in the Rally version. What is everyone's opinion on what price point the Rally Version will be priced at? Is this going to be priced at a similar pricepoint to the R1T or R1S or likely to be priced similar to Tesla's Y. I would hope they would announce something soon in terms of actually confirming the car and give an ETA on production.
 

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Bananas performance makes me wonder if the next two models won't be their more affordable models. This sounds more like the sports car they wanted to make, re-cast into outdoorsy adventure mode. It might cost a little bit less. Depends on whether the performance comes from a lot less car-top (above the skateboard) with the same battery or a lot less car-top with even more battery.

For the two vehicles after this, I'd guess reduced material versions of the R1 series. Either a compact pickup or something more jeep/bronco-like and a compact SUV or crosscountry-style wagon.

I would actually love to see their take on an offroad-friendly wagon.
 

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The pivotal question is this, I believe. Does Rivian want to be a low volume/high margin or high volume/low margin producer? This is how the auto industry (and most industries) is structured.

For the rest of the decade, I can't see anything other than the first - low volume/high margin - as the plan. RJ is not a go for broke, global disruption kind of guy, like Elon. Anything over 250K units per year and a new manufacturing plant will be needed, and given that $750 million has been invested in Normal, on top of the original bargain basement purchase price, I don't see that happening anytime soon.

So, if Rivian has five models in development and we know the first 2 or 3 - the R1T, R1S and a rally raid model - then the last two are likely to be a medium size SUV or truck and a compact truck or crossover. All would be produced in fairly low volume, given that Amazon is getting 100,000 trucks in the next 4-5 years, and the Normal plant is nowhere near capacity for at least 2-3 years. So, 20,000 units off the top for Amazon. 20 to 40,000 R1T and R1S units in the first full year of production, 2021. There won't be a new model, Rally Raid or otherwise, in production until 2022.

If the skateboard remains the architectural footprint, and if we've already got commercial trucks in three sizes, a nearly full size pickup, a full size SUV, and possibly a four-door rally style vehicle already in the works, the logical next step is smaller size trucks and SUVs. Anything else would require a major modification of the skateboard architecture and top-to-bottom reworking of the supply chain. Hence, the skateboard stays the same but instead of a motor for each wheel, maybe the smaller sized vehicles will get two or three motors instead and the air & kinetic suspension systems, which have to be expensive components, are dropped.

All Rivian vehicles will be aspirational and inspirational. At the high end of the market, attainable but not designed for high volume consumption.
 

Pherdnut

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I'm not sure they'll move that slow once the profits start rolling in. I think they still have a couple billion on hand.
 

thrill

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Depending on Rivian's input into the coming electric Ford Transit, they could have plenty of production work for quite some time.
 

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In various comments about Rivian online and elsewhere, it's said that it takes one billion to design, develop, make, launch and market a new motor vehicle.

With a newly refurbished factory already costing over $800 million and two new models sharing a skateboard and everything forward of the B pillar, I'm unclear where Rivian is in terms of expenditures. At least a couple billion has been spent and/or committed, I'd guess. Now, with more than a thousand employees in five locations, and more being added daily, the burn rate will be considerable. I'm not sure there's a couple of uncommitted billions on hand.

Even if there's a couple billion on hand, where will it be spent? Enlarging the Normal plant and further expanding production will take a hunk. Battery development, autonomous vehicle development, connectivity, infotainment, warranty and service program development, trade-in and financing program development, and so on - the list goes on for developing new vehicles and a whole new brand. All without any sales, much less profits.

Since this thread is about the development of a future rally model, I think it's safe to say (and RJ has confirmed this) that a rally model is in the works. When it might appear and how it might shed light on future models and the future of Rivian are hard to say, however.
 

Pherdnut

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In various comments about Rivian online and elsewhere, it's said that it takes one billion to design, develop, make, launch and market a new motor vehicle.

With a newly refurbished factory already costing over $800 million and two new models sharing a skateboard and everything forward of the B pillar, I'm unclear where Rivian is in terms of expenditures. At least a couple billion has been spent and/or committed, I'd guess. Now, with more than a thousand employees in five locations, and more being added daily, the burn rate will be considerable. I'm not sure there's a couple of uncommitted billions on hand.

Even if there's a couple billion on hand, where will it be spent? Enlarging the Normal plant and further expanding production will take a hunk. Battery development, autonomous vehicle development, connectivity, infotainment, warranty and service program development, trade-in and financing program development, and so on - the list goes on for developing new vehicles and a whole new brand. All without any sales, much less profits.

Since this thread is about the development of a future rally model, I think it's safe to say (and RJ has confirmed this) that a rally model is in the works. When it might appear and how it might shed light on future models and the future of Rivian are hard to say, however.
1000 employees times a very enthusiastic salary of 100,000 each is 1/10th of one billion dollars a year. A billion is a lot of freaking money.

So far, all we really know is that just less than 800 million has been spent on the factory, which was purchased before they picked up the 3 bill or so from all these new big-name-brand partnerships and investments.
 

Coast2Coast

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It's unclear if the 400,000 square foot added to the 2.6 million square foot former Mitsubishi plant in 2019 was included in the reported $24 million spent in 2019 and the $750 million slated to be spent in 2020. In either case, about $800 million has been earmarked for Normal so far.

There's an R&D Center in Plymouth, Michigan, the software (autonomous driving, connectivity, etc.) facility in San Jose, the battery facility in Irvine, and the engineering group in the U.K. I have no idea what those facilities cost and how much has been and will be spent in enlarging and upgrading them.

Then there's vehicle development costs, reportedly averaging a billion per vehicle though, in Rivian's case, there are a lot of shared components and systems, so maybe not a billion per vehicle. Maybe 2-3 billion in vehicle development costs. Next to nothing has been spent so far in manufacturing, assembly and supplier costs, but they'll rise dramatically during the rest of the year and into the next couple of years. Some of the $750 million slated to be spent this year may carry over, but how much is unclear.

People costs may only be $100 million at present, but personnel costs will inevitably rise and we shouldn't forget whatever those costs have been in the past.

Add everything up and Rivian is pushing $3 billion or better in reported expenditures, and there are lots of unreported expenses of which we're unaware. Project those expenses into the future, 2020-2021, 2021-22 & 2022-23, and there's a mountain of costs before income and profits begin to roll in.

To get back to the thread at hand, I'm sure a rally model will be introduced in the next year or two, but Rivian's production capacity at Normal will be constrained for at least that long, if not longer. Hence, a rally model might not make it into production until 2022-23, at least in any appreciable numbers. Rivian is production constrained.

Even if Rivian has sufficient funds to bring a rally model to market sooner, it will have all of the R1S, R1T, Amazon and Ford orders it can handle. Birds in the hand - Amazon, Ford & R1S/R1T - are much more valuable than birds in the bush.
 

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I'm wondering why the performance of the rally car will be "insane" as RJ put it. Same R1 skateboard but a much lighter and more aerodynamic body? Coming from a guy whose launch vehicles get to 60 in 3 seconds, that's certainly an attention-grabber.
 
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