It looks like the chip shortage and really, the whole host of pandemic production issues have gotten to Rivian. Automotive News reports that customer deliveries of the R1T pickup will now be delayed until September.
Apparently, potential owners have taken to the forums about their frustration with the company over the lack of communication, something CEO RJ Scaringe briefly addressed in a letter sent to customers:
“We know you can’t wait to get behind the wheel of your vehicle. Earlier this summer, we announced that deliveries would begin in July; however, the timing for the first deliveries of the R1T has shifted to September, with the R1S shortly thereafter in the fall. I wanted to be sure you heard this from me directly.”
He went on to explain that the delays are largely the result of the industry-wide chip shortage and production difficulties at their Normal, Illinois facility:
“The cascading impacts of the pandemic have had a compounding effect greater than anyone anticipated. Everything from facility construction, to equipment installation, to vehicle component supply (especially semiconductors) has been impacted by the pandemic. Beyond these unforeseen challenges, launching three new vehicles while setting up a multi-vehicle manufacturing plant is a complex orchestra of coordinated and interlinked activities where small issues can translate into ramp delays.”
Rivian is not only building the R1T pickup and R1S SUV but it’s also producing EV delivery vans for Amazon. And while it’s understandable for a startup that’s trying to mass-produce vehicles to encounter issues like this, I’d be a little agitated if I were a customer and I got a letter from the company I pre-ordered my vehicle from that essentially says “Hey, we’re having some trouble with actually building your vehicle.”
He went on to close by thanking customers for waiting and promising that the RT1 will be worth the wait. Hopefully, that wait isn’t too much longer.