Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Rivian price hike hits pre-orders, angering existing customers

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Rivian has confirmed that the price hikes announced Tuesday will apply to existing builds as well as new ones, forcing customers who had already placed orders to choose between shelling out as much as 20% more for their trucks or opting into a lower-spec configuration, eliciting vocal discontent among early adopters.  

“Like most manufacturers, Rivian is being confronted with inflationary pressure, increasing component costs, and unprecedented supply chain shortages and delays for parts (including semiconductor chips),” Jiten Behl, Rivian’s chief growth officer, said in a statement. “This rise in cost and complexity due to these challenging circumstances necessitate an increase to the prices of the R1T and R1S models we offer today — prices which were originally set in 2018.”

According to Green Car Reports, the adjustments will apply to all customers except those who are in the final steps of the transaction — or “marked for fulfillment.”

Rivian, in which Amazon.com holds a 20% stake, said the starting price of its R1T electric pickup trucks has gone up by about 17% and its R1S sport utility vehicles by about 20%. It said the price increases would affect most of the customers who have already placed pre-orders for the vehicles. 

While the announcement included details of new equipment options being added to the configurator, including a new dual-motor option, Rivian also hiked the price for the existing quad-motor setup by $12,000. Existing reservation holders can opt into this dual-motor Explore package, with Standard battery pack, which starts at $67,500. The Standard pack offers just 260 miles per charge; Rivian did not disclose its precise capacity.

The dual-motor setup offers more than 600 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque, with a 0-to-60 time of about 4 seconds — so it’s still a very quick truck. And it’s still all-wheel drive, with a motor positioned on each axle front and back, but clearly it won’t have some of the at-the-wheels quad motors’ capabilities and party tricks, like the flashy tank turn.

Tesla and legacy car makers have also raised U.S. vehicle prices to offset high costs related to logistics and supply chain disruption, and dealers often mark-up prices because of vehicle shortages. 

This article contains reporting by Reuters. 

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