After having prioritized pickups for a few months, Rivian has now shifted its focus to SUVs.
The R1S accounts for about 70% of the company’s orders.
Rivian wants to manufacture a combined 50,000 vehicles this year.
The Rivian R1S electric SUV has had a slow start due to production constraints, but the company says its output will now surpass that of the R1T pickup for the first time this quarter.
Indeed, the three-row SUV is expected to be responsible for most of Rivian’s production volume in the second quarter of 2023, ahead of the R1T.
While both the R1T pickup and the R1S SUV are closely related, the automaker chose to launch the R1T first and up to now, its production was prioritized over the SUV.
This is now changing in order to reflect the SUV’s popularity with reservation holders, some of whom have waited quite a while for this model.
According to Rivian, the R1S accounts for about 70% of its total pre-orders, which can be explained by the lack of suitable competitors on the market.
Indeed, while the R1T has to compete with the Ford F-150 Lightning and a number of other electric pickups that will arrive shortly, the R1S is only faced by the Tesla Model X and Y in the three-row electric SUV category.
While other automakers such as Ford and Toyota have announced plans to launch similar models, both are still only in the early stages of development.
In addition to shifting its focus toward the R1S, Rivian wants to dramatically increase its production this year, with a target of 50,000 vehicles, including the delivery van it builds for Amazon.
This is double the number of vehicles that drove out of the factory in 2022. This sharp increase in projected output is due to improvements in the supply chain.
Most notably, Rivian was able to work around some of the issues it faced previously by developing its own in-house powertrain called Enduro.
This new dual-motor setup will supplement the existing quad-motor powertrain which is manufactured by Bosh and which proved to be more difficult to obtain than Rivian would have wanted.
Production of the R1S equipped with the Enduro drive units has been underway for a few weeks now, and the company says the ramp-up has been quicker than expected.
Source: Yahoo! Finance