Rivian is different from Tesla in several ways. Until now, Tesla has grown up selling sports sedans, a type of vehicle that is falling out of favor with consumers. Tesla intends to start making a futuristic, oddly angular pickup, the Cybertruck, later this year. But it has yet to focus on trucks and SUVs, which account for 75% of the passenger vehicle market in the United States.
Rivian, meanwhile, is focused on producing “adventure” vehicles that owners can take off-road, an approach that means Rivian won’t often be in direct competition with Tesla. “There is a perception that it’s the winner, everything wins, and that’s just plain wrong,” he said. “Consumers have to have different brands, different flavors. Our success does not exclude the success of others at all. “
Rebecca Puck Stair is the kind of car buyer Rivian hopes to attract. Movie Scout in Albuquerque, NM She has been interested in purchasing an electric vehicle for a few years, but needs high ground clearance and four-wheel drive capability for missions that take her through the desert. “It didn’t exist on the market,” she says. “A Tesla does not meet my needs.”
About a year ago, she first heard of Rivian and made a deposit on an SUV the next day – like Tesla, the company has no plans to sell through dealers. Ms. Stair has seen the Cybertruck, but the design is not for her. “It just screams ‘obnoxious guy truck’,” she laughs.
Rivian’s truck and SUV, which start at $ 67,500, feel more conventional, as if they could have been designed by Land Rover.
Unlike Tesla, which is trying to grow quickly, Rivian is taking measured action. Last year, before the pandemic struck, it announced that it plans to manufacture around 20,000 pickup trucks and SUVs in 2021 and some 40,000 in 2022. It has yet to offer an updated outlook. It aims to have a Normal production capacity of 250,000 vehicles per year by the middle of the decade. The company did not disclose the number of orders it had taken, but a spokesperson said it had customers lined up for all the vehicles it planned to manufacture this year.
And even if other auto start-ups go public by merging with shell companies that have lots of cash and stock quotes, Rivian doesn’t want to. “We want to pitch, demonstrate our ability and let our performance speak for itself before we can consider going public,” said Scaringe, 38.