Rivian CEO eyes smaller electric vehicles for China, Europe

In this news, we discuss the Rivian CEO eyes smaller electric vehicles for China, Europe.

DETROIT (Reuters) – Electric vehicle startup Rivian, backed by Amazon AMZN.O and Ford Motor Co FN, on Wednesday announced plans to track its first two products, a pickup and a full-size SUV, with more models small targeted on China and Europe where it could possibly build some vehicles.

While Rivian plans to start selling the SUV in Europe in 2022 and in China shortly thereafter, “what’s really going to increase the volume in these markets are the follow-up products” which are smaller and suitable for overseas customers. , said Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe. Reuters.

The smaller models, which are expected to share key components with the pickup and SUV, “will adapt very well to some of these other markets, particularly China,” Scaringe said.

“To really move into these markets as we offer tracking products, it will be important to have a production footprint outside of the United States,” he said. “It is far.”

Scaringe added, “We wouldn’t be serious about starting an auto company if we didn’t think of China and Europe as important long-term markets.”

The company’s first factory in Normal, Ill. Began pilot production ahead of next year’s launch of three models – the R1T pickup and the R1S SUV, which Scaringe described as “halo products.” For Rivian, and a large electric delivery van for Amazon.

Speaking from a room overlooking the assembly line, Scaringe said the former Mitsubishi Motors plant reflected an unusual degree of vertical integration, with room for building engines and batteries for vehicles and for further expansion.

The Amazon Delivery Van is built on a version of the same platform, or base fundamentals, used by the R1T and R1S.

Rivian said deliveries of the pickup will begin in June 2021, while those of the SUV will begin in August. The launch editions of the vehicles are priced at $ 75,000 and $ 77,500, respectively, with a range of 300 miles (480 km) for both.

The electric pickup market will soon be crowded as Ford, General Motors Co GM.N and Tesla Inc TSLA.O, along with several other startups, are developing similar models. Many car manufacturers are also deploying electric SUVs.

In July, Rivian, founded in 2009, bolstered its war chest with a $ 2.5 billion investment round led by T. Rowe Price, bringing the total investment in the startup to $ 6 billion. Investors include Soros Fund Management, Fidelity and BlackRock BLK.N, as well as Saudi automotive distributor Abdul Latif Jameel Co (ALJ).

Amazon, which has relationships and deals in the auto industry, led a $ 700 million round of investment in Rivian last year.

The e-commerce company has also ordered 100,000 electric vans from Rivian. The first Amazon vehicles will go into production on Normal at the end of 2021, with all deliveries to be completed by 2024.

Scaringe said Rivian has started setting up service centers and will deploy mobile units to handle maintenance and repair work on Amazon’s vans, as well as Rivian vehicles for retail customers.

Report by Ben Klayman and Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Tom Brown

Original © Thomson Reuters

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