Rivians approach to model year: traditional or iterative (Tesla-like)?

dleewla

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Do you think Rivian will approach their vehicles like a traditional car manufacturer and have distinct model years? Or do you think they will take more of an iterative, Tesla-like, approach where they "immediately" integrate improvements/changes to vehicles (outside of OTA updates)?

I'm hoping the latter but wonder what other folks think.
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I like/ prefer Tesla's model. Although it makes it more difficult when selling or buying on the used market because you can end up with different tech within the same model year and no way to differentiate other than roughly going by manufacture date.
 

PastyPilgrim

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I bet it's the latter. Their whole business model revolves around lifetime monetization and it's a little harder to have a continuous revenue stream with model years that might affect compatibility with software, accessories, etc. (though obviously they'll end support for those things at a point).

Plus, model years feel like the result of dealers since you have products that sit on a lot and you need to know what revision you're buying. With direct-to-consumer, you're pretty much always buying something fresh off the line.

Also many of Rivian's people are former Tesla people and Rivian is already borrowing as much as they can from Tesla.
 
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Sgt Beavis

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One of the reasons Tesla has been less impacted by the chip shortage is due to their iterative approach. Ford, GM, and all other OEMs can't get out of their own way to redesign components/code to use chips that are available.

I think Rivian was already on this path but seeing that lesson probably solidified it for them.
 

Rivian_Hugh_III

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I'm a late preorder holder -- Sep 2021.

I figure I'll get my R1T in late 2022 or more likely 2023.

Which makes me wonder what options might be available by that time.

Will there be: New wheel options? New electrostatic roof? New body style, headlights, interior? New gear tunnel options? New rear hooks? Manual air vents lol?

If they haven't added some of those things by the time I get my truck, I'll be wondering how long before they're available.

My guess is they won't have model years.
 

SANZC02

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One of the reasons Tesla has been less impacted by the chip shortage is due to their iterative approach. Ford, GM, and all other OEMs can't get out of their own way to redesign components/code to use chips that are available.

I think Rivian was already on this path but seeing that lesson probably solidified it for them.
Not sure I can agree they have not been impacted. They delivered zeroModel X vehicles in 2021 and now are pushing Model S and Model X vehicles that are not the performance ones to 2023

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manitou202

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One of the reasons Tesla has been less impacted by the chip shortage is due to their iterative approach. Ford, GM, and all other OEMs can't get out of their own way to redesign components/code to use chips that are available.

I think Rivian was already on this path but seeing that lesson probably solidified it for them.

All of this redesign for different chips can help get vehicles out the door today, but it creates a sustaining nightmare down the road. You could have the same vehicle with different chips that require different firmware/software updates in the future. So your engineers have to maintain both sets of firmware/software for the different chip variants which adds more work down the road.

We are currently dealing with this at my work and in some situations it's better to ship less product today to prevent more work in the future.
 

Sgt Beavis

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Not sure I can agree they have not been impacted. They delivered zeroModel X vehicles in 2021 and now are pushing Model S and Model X vehicles that are not the performance ones to 2023

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Oh, they‘ve been impacted. I said “less” impacted.. 😜
 

Rob Stark

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My guess is they won't have model years.
All car companies have model years, including Tesla. It is required by law.


The difference with Tesla is that features, trims etc are not consistent within a model year. They make changes constantly instead of during model year rollovers.
 

BigE

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Do you think Rivian will approach their vehicles like a traditional car manufacturer and have distinct model years? Or do you think they will take more of an iterative, Tesla-like, approach where they "immediately" integrate improvements/changes to vehicles (outside of OTA updates)?

I'm hoping the latter but wonder what other folks think.
It will be interesting to see how Rivian adapts and grows over time and what their build culture becomes. But I think, to adapt say as quickly as say Tesla does, and make changes on a running line, you have to have a automated method to test/certify the car. I am not expert at this, but looking at say Toyota or Honda, they take very long testing cycles and only make a change when every detail is worked out and proven which seems to result in very high quality but takes a long time.

Maybe give a listen to Joe Justice...around mark 12:15 he discusses how Tesla works vs say Toyota.

 

Rob Stark

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Honda has been running midpack in reliability rankings for most of the last 10 years. This year it scored 6th and last year 5th but the previous 10 years it was in the 10-20 category.

Honda has been running on reputation more than results.

Tesla is not only constantly making changes but constantly expanding production. If you grow 3% or less every year it is relatively easy to have good quality. IF you grow output 40%+ every year it is difficult to have top rank quality.

I hope Rivian is in the hypergrowth category. They have told investors 1M units in 2030.

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