"Meet the Man Quietly Building the Tesla of Trucks, With Jeff Bezos Aboard"

Discussion in 'Rivian General Discussions' started by EyeOnRivian, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. EyeOnRivian

    EyeOnRivian Well-Known Member

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    NY Times put together a nice article on RJ and Rivian. Not quite a TLDR but here are some excerpts from the article that I had found interesting and had not read before.

    "Rivian has received tens of thousands of reservations from buyers who have made deposits of $1,000 each."

    "As different as Mr. Scaringe is from Mr. Musk, the two share some qualities. Mr. Scaringe is a control freak who weighs in on everything from the color of bathroom tiles to the lighting in the assembly plant."

    "Mr. Scaringe is promising only about 20,000 to 40,000 vehicles in 2021, the first full year of production."

    "Mr. Scaringe has made clear he wants to hold the reins tight. General Motors discussed investing in the company this year ... But the automaker and Mr. Scaringe could not agree on terms. G.M. was demanding more control and exclusivity than he was comfortable with."
    (Confirms rumors around the time Ford made their $500m investment into Rivian.)

    Even though I submitted my Rivian pre-order months ago and Rivian repeatedly saying production will start in late 2020, I've been mentally preparing myself that my EAV probably won't be ready for delivery until 2021, and even more so now after reading the 1st and 3rd quotes above.

    Sure wish we knew where we are in the pre-order waiting line. My only hope is more of the "under promise, over deliver" mantra and my Rivian becomes available in late 2020. :fingerscrossed:

    Article: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/02/...rivian.html?smtyp=cur&smid=tw-nytimesbusiness
     
  2. Alan Burns

    Alan Burns Well-Known Member

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    Reservation numbers are pretty insignificant. The order of production will be determined by the options you chose. Rivian has announced their first production will be the large battery with full options so even if you had reservation #2 with the smallest battery and hand crank windows your vehicle will be someways down the line.
     
  3. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    I think a lot of the timing depends on how far the supply chain has been brought along. I believe that Normal is going to be primarily a body fabrication, battery packaging, and final assembly shop. If final specs are already in the hands of component suppliers for things such as brakes, seats, interior panels, glass, dashboard components, computers, wiring harnesses, etc., then late 2020 might be realistic. (I can't remember if I've seen whether Rivian is building its own motors or is going to outsource them.)

    If you compare the Rivian claim of late 2020 to the Lucid Motors claim of late 2020 for their first production, the Rivian seems to be much more likely. They are already deep into refitting the Normal plant, numerous skateboards are in testing under Ford F150 bodies, and they are staffing up to run a buyer test drive program. Lucid was planning to break ground on its new plant in Casa Grande, Arizona in the second quarter of this year. I have seen reports that the land deal closed late in the first quarter, but I have been unable to find any confirmation that they've broken ground. In fact, they just hired Tesla's head of manufacturing, which indicates they are much earlier in production engineering than Rivian seems to be.

    Lucid has made the same claim as Rivian about "under promising and over delivering". This might be true on the design and engineering front, but when it comes to production, I think Rivian is hewing more assiduously to the mantra.
     
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  4. skyote

    skyote Well-Known Member

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    Hmp10,
    I recall that the motors and suspension components are 3rd party.

    I also remember comments about supplier partners & supply chain, eluding that things are already in order; I'm sure preorders just helped better quantify & prepare for forthcoming production.

    All of the options will be related to what is assembled to be on top of the skateboard, so I'm guessing they might be able to get one heck of a head start by just producing the skateboards (or even just their components/modules now). They obviously have plenty of space at the factory, so it is totally feasible to prebuild core components & leave the customized portions for later.
     
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  5. EyeOnRivian

    EyeOnRivian Well-Known Member

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    To clarify, I'm not questioning whether or not Rivian will start producing their vehicles in late 2020 or not. Although they still have many challenges ahead of them to get there, and I wouldn't be surprised if they had a delay or two in there some where (sometimes stuff happens beyond one's control, e.g., a supplier delays shipment, etc.), I'm encouraged by what I've read and heard about Rivian so far and will do their best to start production by "late 2020." But if you plug in some of the numbers from the article and make some very general assumptions, most will not receive their vehicle until 2021. E.g. let's say Rivian starts rolling EVs off the line at the start of the 4th quarter of 2020. That's 3 months of producing vehicles. RJ is "promising only about 20,000 to 40,000 vehicles in 2021, the first full year of production." So that's a very generous 5k to 10k for the last three months of 2020 but more than likely less as they work out the kinks and even less if production starts later in the year. Unless you submitted your pre-order very early *AND* eventually configure a higher cost vehicle (180 or 135 kWh battery pack *and* high ticket options), it's not likely Rivian will be fulfilling many of the "tens of thousands of reservations" in late 2020.

    Side note. I read some where quite some time ago an article pointing out the difference between "pre-order" and a "reservation" for some automobile manufactures. Basically the "pre-order" has no commitment, as it can be cancelled at any time with no penalty. Where as a reservation was explained as when you configure your vehicle and your pre-order is changed to an actual order carries a commitment thus incurring a penalty if you decide to cancel. Now to date Rivian hasn't released any such verbiage yet, so it's not clear on how Rivian will frame this process.

    At any rate, the date in which you submitted your pre-order will be significant as Rivian has already stated as such. Clearly there will be many, many 180 and 135 kWh BP pre-orders that will get configured that end up in the high cost category, let alone the one's that configure to the exact same cost. This is where the submission date of your pre-order would make sense to be factored in to determine the order of producing those vehicles. And even for the 105 kWh BP or lower total cost orders, there are going to many vehicles that price out the same, or very close, and it would seem logical for Rivian to use your pre-order submission date to help determine the order in which to produce those vehicles.
     
  6. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    There is also the question of whether you really want one of the very early production cars. It is inevitable that some kinks will make it into production before they are caught, as has always been the case when even long-established ICE manufacturers introduce new models.

    I bought one of the earliest Audi R8's produced in 2008, and the electronically-controlled suspension system failed on the way home. I bought an early fifth generation Honda Odyssey in 2011 and got one from an early batch that left the factory with warped windshields and transmission programming errors. I bought an early Jaguar S-Type and lost the transmission and dashboard electronics in the first two months. I bought the first year of the C5 Corvette and had its new "limp mode" engage for no reason on several occasions until I left the car for good on the side of an interstate. I bought a 2004 Mercedes SL55 AMG with Mercedes' first brake-by-wire system and had constant failures. (Mercedes eventually pulled the system from the market.)

    If the first thousand Rivians come off the production line with no notable flaws it will be a near miracle. Rivian's service response in addressing these flaws is what will make or break the brand very quickly, not whether the flaws occur or not.
     
  7. ElectricTrucking

    ElectricTrucking Well-Known Member

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    I hope you learned your lesson. Now maybe you can hold a grudge and make Rivian pay for your bad purchases. I guess it is time to shut down this forum until Rivian can proof them selfs.
     
  8. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    #8 Hmp10, Jul 3, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
    Huh?

    I have pre-ordered a Rivian and am not suggesting they won't build a great product. I'm simply saying that it would be reasonable to expect some early production problems to make it into the first products coming off the line, as has been the case with a great many model introductions by manufacturers with decades of experience under their belts.

    The test of Rivian's mettle as a manufacturer will be less whether these problems occur, but how well Rivian addresses them, both through prompt corrections on the production line and in the supply chain, and through effective service in the field. I have no reason at this point to think that Rivian won't do both.

    I bought two later Audi R8's, both problem free. I am now on my second Honda Odyssey, equally problem free. I view early production problems as almost ubiquitous in the industry, I think they are an entirely different issue from a manufacturer's broader ability to produce good products, and I don't view them as a reason to stay away from a product. However, if early-adopter hassles get too much under your skin, then you might want to avoid the first few cars off a new production line. That's all I'm saying.
     
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  9. skyote

    skyote Well-Known Member

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    Eye,
    I foresee preorders turning into reservations when the configurator is live, along with an additional nonrefundable deposit toward the vehicle you configure.

    I also believe we will see the test drive program before the reservation "deadline", because Rivian will want to convert as many preorders into reservations as possible, and many people won't commit until they see the vehicles in person & in action.
     
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  10. EyeOnRivian

    EyeOnRivian Well-Known Member

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    @skyote , those are my expectations as well, but unfortunately we're all just assuming / hoping that's how it will play out. Perhaps I'm being impatient and I'm letting my excitement get the best of me, but it would be helpful if Rivian could officially release, at least to the pre-order holders, what to expect, even if it just ballparks the process, meaning, e.g., leave out specific dates but give us a layout of what to expect in the order process. Something. Perhaps for some this is a road you've been down before and are familiar with pre-order purchase process from past vehicles. Not the case for me. I know the EV market is getting competitive and Rivian tends to keep things close to the vest, but I think I (we?) could use a little more transparency from Rivian.

    For those in the US - Have a nice 4th of July!
     
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  11. skyote

    skyote Well-Known Member

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    @EyeOnRivian , totally agree, just official announcement on the process would be great.

    I think a lot of us are impatiently waiting for any/all details...and the vehicles themselves! Probably not a bad tactic for Rivian to maintain the suspense & keep us on the edge of our seats a bit... Very tough for my impatient & fact/detail-seeking personality though.
     

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