The company's CEO RJ Scaringe sent a letter to customers that the Rivian R1T electric pickup is now expected in September, while the Rivian R1S electric SUV should follow shortly in the Fall.
That's not good news, but on the other hand, two more months is not the end of the world. Some might now wonder whether Rivian will really manage to launch the R1T before others, including the Tesla Cybertruck, to be first on the market with a modern, all-electric pickup.
RJ Scaringe explains that the company is seriously affected by the cascading impacts of the pandemic/lockdowns and semiconductor shortage, while launching three all-new products simultaneously (R1T, R1S and the commercial van for Amazon).
"There are many reasons why our production ramp is taking longer than expected. The cascading impacts of the pandemic have had a compounding effect greater than anyone anticipated. Everything from facility construction, to equipment installation, to vehicle component supply (especially semiconductors) has been impacted by the pandemic. Beyond these unforeseen challenges, launching three new vehicles while setting up a multi-vehicle manufacturing plant is a complex orchestra of coordinated and interlinked activities where small issues can translate into ramp delays."
Rivian has a plant in Normal, Illinois (former Mitsubishi site), where the company has built two production lines - one for the R1T/R1S duo and one for the van.
So far, hundreds of vehicles were produced according to RJ Scaringe and they are accumulating test miles to ensure "long-term success" of the company and "ultimate satisfaction" of customers.