Rivian Encounters “Production Hell.” R1S Deliveries Pushed Back 3 Months — Or More

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Rivian Encounters

To paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld (older readers may remember him), “It’s easy to die. It’s hard to build cars.” People worked their way into a foam a few years ago when Tesla experienced what Elon Musk called “production hell” as it struggled to increase production of Model 3. It went so badly that Elon Musk began to spend nights at the Fremont factory in a sleeping bag at the end of the assembly line so he could solve any production problems in real time.

Rivian, which has started making its R1T electric pickup truck, is now betting on getting its R1S electric SUV out the door and into the hands of customers. Like Tesla before, Rivian finds that it’s one thing to talk about delivery dates, it’s something completely different to achieve those goals.

The first R1S was scheduled to roll off the line in January, but in emails to reservation holders this week, it has informed them that it will likely be March or April before their vehicles are delivered to customers. The waiting time can potentially extend beyond that. Rivian Owners Forum user doozenberg posted a copy of the message he received from Rivian customer service this week that said:

Hi,

Thank you for your continued support of Rivian. We can not wait to get you behind the wheel of your R1S. Now that vehicle production is increasing at our factory in Normal, IL, and we are expanding our service and support in your region, we are able to share an updated delivery window.

Your delivery window for Launch Edition R1S is now June-July 2022. Please note that this delivery window is based on your current configuration, delivery location and pre-order date. Your pre-order is a voice for finding better ways of doing things on a planet that needs us all to think big and innovate. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Thanks again.

Several reservation holders report that they have received similar emails, some promising delivery in April-May and some promising delivery in June-July. Inside electric cars points out that most current pre-orders are for the Launch Edition of the car, which will not be equipped with the largest available battery pack. It’s speculating that deliveries of cars outside of the Launch Edition are unlikely to happen until sometime in 2023.

The news has caused a stir among some reservation holders who say they have canceled their pre-order and will buy a Tesla Model Y or Volkswagen ID.4 instead. All that dismay led to another forum member going by the name o. horridus to post this rather embarrassing comment:

“If you were planning a delivery in 2022, then you are an idiot. Rivian has never promised you a delivery date. Although we all want our Rivian NOW, they have never promised you a delivery date. When the configurator went live in November 2020, Rivian did it is clear that the LE would be delivered first – the LE does NOT include the Max Pack battery and it was announced that the R1S would specifically be delivered after the R1T Anyone who has an LE configuration will now (for the first time time) promised mid-2022. A reservation in 2018 buys you a few months before a reservation in 2020. But seriously, did you really expect Rivian to deliver ALL of its pre-orders at the same time as the FIRST pre-order was delivered? “

I’m not a candidate for a Rivian R1S, but if I were, I would definitely book one in Red Canyon (see above). To all of you Rivian reservation holders out there, we have these tips: Patience, Grasshopper.

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