Events and anticipative speculations showed that Rivian was going to start deliveries of its R1S electric adventure SUV anytime soon. But to the disappointment of many preorder holders, the SUV has been delayed yet again.
This week, Rivian sent letters to reservation holders confirming that it would delay the first deliveries of its long-awaited R1S electric SUV. And this isn’t the first time. Initially, it had a mid-2021 arrival date, shortly after the electric truck, but both got pushed back due to supply constraints and other issues.
Depending on the model, color, and trim, some buyers received a notification from Rivian that the R1S won’t be available until October to December, which is nearly six months later than many anticipated.
I think that it’s a good thing that Rivian came out with this announcement. As we have seen with previous delays or changes, Rivian has not been good at sharing information with its customers.
The delays range from one month to nine months, with most people seeing their estimated delivery dates pushed back from March or April 2022 to sometime between October and December 2022.
Some R1S preorder holders were however informed of shorter delays, from April–May 2022 to August–September 2022. There are also Rivian R1S reservation holders who received no delivery date updates; ideally, this could mean their deliveries remain on track.
Furthermore, it’s not really a surprise that the R1S was delayed.
Rivian has given two reasons for the delay. But we actually think they are more. These reasons have a domino effect on the production of these vehicles.
The first is supply chain problems.
This is the main reason Rivian cut its delivery estimates for 2022 in half because the parts needed to build these vehicles are in short supply. It’s causing the manufacturing line to work at a lower capacity than it’s meant to work, which makes the whole manufacturing process for these cars more expensive for Rivian.
It also appears the parts for the R1S are even more short of supply than the R1T. That is why Rivian has had a steady flow of R1Ts out of the factory. This also means Rivian is going to try to produce more R1Ts than planned before the end of the year in order to hit their 25,000 targets.
We have also seen that many people with R1T orders have been moved up the wait list from the second half of 2022 to the first.
The second reason Rivian gave was about its service infrastructure.
Rivian said it is prioritizing deliveries to areas with a functional service infrastructure.
“We continue to prioritize deliveries in locations where service infrastructure is in place so that we can provide the full ownership experience to Rivian owners from day one.”
The company’s website lists 19 service centers in 14 states, mostly located on the East and West Coasts, so there are a lot of territories that are not covered.
The third but speculative reason is that they want to focus on the quality of these R1S SUVs.
It seems Rivian is not super happy with the quality of the R1S that are coming off the production line right now. So they want to take out some time to improve that which is extremely important for the R1S and for Rivian considering that it’s their first try at an SUV.
In 2020, RIVian said they had everything they needed for all the launch editions R1 vehicles, but it seems Rivian has ran into quality control issues with these parts. Rivian said in the email that the quality of the parts was not as expected or don’t function as they should once put into the car.
The fourth thing is that R1S’s were slowing down the production line.
Based on production line speed considerations, It is Rivian’s best interest and the best interest of the majority of Rivians customer base that they don’t want to slow things down too much until they’re full or ready to go with the R1S. This is where the domino effect comes in. the slow rate is due to either quality or parts issues.
When we look at the facts and the issues plaguing the r1s production, we can say that Rivian is doing the right thing here for its customers and even more so for its brand.