Rivian will enter into a reorganization process whose main objective is to split the activity into two parts: one manufacturing passenger vehicles, the other exclusively developing commercial offers. It will also undergo a high-level change in management, as its current head of manufacturing, Charly Mwangi, will step down to be replaced on June 1 by Magna International’s Frank Klein.
Now might not seem like the best time to appoint a new manufacturing boss, just as the fledgling automaker tries to ramp up production of its first production model, the R1T, to meet delivery deadlines. However, these deadlines are not being met, which is frustrating some order holders and it will soon also start shipping the SUV version of the same base model called R1S, which will make it even more difficult for it to meet its delivery promises.
The company initially announced that it would only build a few variants at first, to keep things as simple as possible for it and its suppliers, allowing them to ramp up production. However, Rivian started building vehicles at a time of constant shortages (particularly for semiconductors) and even more recently of supply chain problems caused by the war in Ukraine, the kind that swept the world. industry, leaving no manufacturer unscathed.
According to RJ Scaringe, CEO of Rivian,
This is an important time for our growing business, taking place in an extremely challenging environment. We are well positioned for long-term success, but we must continually evaluate how we operate.
The seven-seat R1S is expected to start reaching customers in June and the manufacturer also wants to start building and shipping the other (more affordable) versions of the R1T by the end of the year as well. At first, Rivian will build the R1T in Launch Edition form, and once all of those are built, it will transition to Adventure and Explore versions, just like it did with the Pickup.
Rivian also has plans that go further into the future and wants to build a much wider range than it has today, for both retail and commercial buyers. The automaker trademarked a whole slew of model names, some of which are very similar to today’s models, while others may not be that style of off-road oriented offerings.