Electric vehicle maker Rivian had a rough 2022, reportedly losing $5.2 billion. This led to the company saying publicly that “we have to change.”
Now, the specifics of what that change will entail are starting to become clearer. Electrek reports that Rivian is switching its focus from almost exclusively pickup trucks to family-friendly SUVs with lower prices than the competition.
Despite Rivian winning MotorTrend’s Truck of the Year award with its R1T pickup truck, increased competition in the all-electric pickup space is leading to lower demand and spurring Rivian to move away from the vehicle that was previously its bread and butter.
Ford, RAM, and Chevy all offer electric pickup trucks now, with Tesla’s infamous Cybertruck still just around the corner (as it has been for several years).
To separate itself from the competition, Rivian will now be putting its resources into its seven-seat R1S SUV, which will cost around $66,000 with the $7,500 EV tax credit that was included as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, according to Electrek. Unlike with pickup trucks, there are fewer electric SUVs making waves in the market right now.
It hasn’t just been the increasing competition causing problems for Rivian, however. In a letter to shareholders, the company wrote, “Supply chain continues to be the main limiting factor of our production; during the quarter we encountered multiple days of lost production due to supplier shortages. We expect supply chain challenges to persist into 2023 but with better predictability relative to what was experienced in 2022.”
A writer for Electrek was able to test out the R1S and had a glowing review for it, writing: “Honestly, I don’t have much to add since my original review about a year ago, in which I called it the best SUV ever made … There’s just an amazing feeling driving around in one of the quickest cars on the road that is also one of the best off roading vehicles that also seats 7 comfortably and also handles well and looks great.”
So, despite its recent stumbles, it appears that the future for Rivian could be bright.
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