Could Rivian Build The Mitsubishi Triton So It Can Be Sold In The U.S?

Mitsubishi Triton
Mitsubishi Triton

(Disclaimer: This shitpost was originally published last week because I didn’t pay close enough attention to the details of the embargo and thought it would be fine. It was not, and for that, I apologize. But now that the embargo has been lifted, it has returned as a very real conspiracy theory that you should definitely believe.)

Last Tuesday, Rivian flew me, along with a number of journalists out to Normal, Illinois, to tour its factory. You can read more on that here, but what I really want to talk about is something I saw while I was there. As we were waiting for everyone to get there for the tour, a truck pulled into the parking lot. If it had been an F-150 Lightning or any other truck that’s sold in the U.S., that wouldn’t have been a surprise. Either Rivian was doing some benchmark testing, or, you know, it was just a regular employee driving their own truck to work.

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Now, I’m willing to accept that perhaps an employee has family in Mexico and was able to get a truck bought there into the U.S. somehow if that’s actually the case. But what if there’s another explanation? What if (and I need to be clear here, I have no other evidence to support this essentially baseless theory) Rivian is in talks with Mitsubishi to build the new Triton in the former Mitsubishi factory that Rivian owns? I definitely think it should.

There’s empty space in the facility that CEO RJ Scaringe said would be used for something really cool. He also said it won’t be a side-by-side designed to fit in the bed of an R1T. Trust me. I asked. For some reason, no one at Rivian seemed to think that was a high priority for the brand even though it would be objectively cool. Building the Triton would also provide a nice cash infusion, which every startup automaker could use. And by having Rivian build the Triton in Illinois, Mitsubishi would be able to sell it here without getting hit with the Chicken Tax. So it would be a win for everyone involved.

Now, do I really believe my own wild conspiracy theory? Not really. But I want to. Imagine Rivian execs calling a meeting a few hours from now, freaking out over the fact that some idiot from Jalopnik accidentally figured out their plan. But also, is my crazy theory that’s backed up by no actual evidence really that crazy? Is there really no evidence? I saw that Mitsubishi truck with my own eyes. And if this isn’t happening, then how do you explain a foreign truck in the parking lot of a factory that used to be owned by Mitsubishi? Yeah, exactly. You’ve got nothing because my theory is the only one that makes sense.

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