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Vehicle production at the Rivian factory has begun

Discussion in 'Rivian' started by Domenick, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator
    Staff Member

    Aug 10, 2017
    2,069
    #1 Domenick, Jul 21, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
    Rivian has been pretty quiet on their social channels the past couple weeks. That changed, though, with the posting of a set of pics (below) showing off stamped body parts along with the brief text, "Busy making metal!" Besides the door enclosure panels, in one pic you can see a bare vehicle chassis sitting on stands.

    So, although it doesn't seem like a proper assembly line has started, it does look like pre-production vehicles are being put together. And, I imagine, this process will help with planning the specific assembly processes for the eventual line.

    Replying to a question on Instagram: "Are both models aluminium frame based?" Rivian replied, "Our body structure is based on an aluminum intensive, multi-material architecture. We use high-strength steel and composites where appropriate."

    Besides the photos, Rivian also answered a question about the availability of test drives. Said they in response to an inquiry on Twitter, "We're not offering test drives yet, but we look forward to getting people behind the wheel closer to production!"


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  2. EyeOnEVs

    EyeOnEVs Rookie

    Mar 5, 2019
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    #2 EyeOnEVs, Jul 21, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
    Yes, progress indeed! I would agree these are probably for the pre-production vehicles that will be used for full-scale testing, e.g., performance bench-marking, crash tests, test drive tour program, etc.

    Speaking of test drives...
    Hmm, "closer to production." Does that mean the "late 2020" production? Does that mean the pre-production of vehicles their starting (which I thought was going to happen toward the end of September when the Normal factory will be ready)?
    How do you guys interpret Rivian's response?

    For me, I would like to be able to do a test drive *before* I have to configure my vehicle which I presume will come with some level of commitment on my part, meaning, there would financial repercussions if you cancel your order.

    IMO I think the questions needs to be more specific, E.g. "Will test drive tour program be available before or soon after we're able to configure our pre-order into an order?"

    Perhaps someone with a Twitter account could post this or similar question to @Rivian on Twitter.
     
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  3. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator
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    Aug 10, 2017
    2,069
    Their statement is pretty non-specific about who would be behind the wheel. It could be taken to mean customers, but it could mean media, or influencers...anybody, really. It'd be great if at least some customers get pre-production wheel time, though.

    I don't recall a test drive tour being mentioned, but I think customers would really appreciate it. They do have a lot of preorders, though, so it may be difficult (and expensive) to satisfy everybody's test-drive desires.
     
  4. EyeOnEVs

    EyeOnEVs Rookie

    Mar 5, 2019
    30
    Interesting Domenick, that hadn't crossed my mind it could be for a select group like the media. I guess it's possible but I really don't see enough value in that from a potential consumer's perspective, certainly not from a pre-order holder. IMO, this is too big of a purchase for the consumer to not be given the chance to sit in the vehicle let alone test drive it and then have to base some of their most important checklist item decisions from a media / content provider review (no offense if you're one of them :) ).

    Well, maybe not in an official announcement like a press release, but back in May a Teslarati article indicated the following:

    "Rivian appears to be setting the stage for the introduction of a test drive program for its first two vehicles, the R1T pickup truck and the R1S SUV. Such a program will bode well for Rivian, as it will give potential customers a chance to experience the company’s vehicles firsthand.

    The first hints of a potential Rivian test drive program came in the form of a Reddit post on the r/Rivian subreddit. One of the online community’s members, u/Knight_of_r_noo, attended the New York Auto Show, where he was reportedly able to speak with Rivian’s team, including CEO RJ Scaringe. According to the electric truck enthusiast, Rivian is planning on doing a roadshow around the United States to let people experience the R1T and R1S. Details of the program are reportedly being ironed out by the electric truck maker.

    Yet another hint at Rivian’s test drive program came in the form of a job listing that the company recently posted online. ...
    " ​

    And then a few days later InsideEVs posted an article about it.

    I think this falls in line on how Rivian does things. Make sure the "product" (or program, service, etc, in this case the test drive program) is far enough along before announcing it. That said, IMHO a test drive program is a smart move on their part. There has been plenty of comments from potential buyers and even those with a pre-order deposit, including myself, that when the time comes to actually place the order and we haven't at least sat in either of them, let alone test drive it, orders will not be placed and pre-orders canceled. That would be clearly not good or desired ... for both parties.

    So it will be interesting to see where and when they will be holding this "test drive program." Even though the job posting lists the location of Arizona, it also indicates "willing to travel upwards of 75% of the time.”
     
  5. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator
    Staff Member

    Aug 10, 2017
    2,069
    Ok, it all came rushing back to me when I saw the InsideEVs article (I'm just glad I wasn't the one who wrote it, since that would be even more embarrassing).
     

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