Autoevolution picked up on a disturbance in the force taking place on RivianForums. On Saturday, a forum member started a thread with the text of a letter Rivian sent to those who reserved the R1S. The letter provided an update on delivery windows, moving the windows back anywhere from one to nine months. According to other member postings, some reservation holders who’d been expecting the R1S from March or April of this year — who still don’t have their electric SUVs — were moved to Q4, sometime between October and December of this year. Others lucked out with shorter delays, being moved from estimated delivery of April or May to August or September.
Rivian’s letter to customers gave two reasons for the change in plans, one of them blaming the usual culprit, the other citing brand experience. Calling out the supply chain crisis, the letter said, “As we’ve continued to navigate a tight supply chain, we’ve had to reduce complexity wherever possible, including prioritizing certain build combinations over others.” Although the parts and logistics crunch is affecting everyone everywhere and even legacy OEMs are still stashing thousands of cars waiting for constrained bits, CEO R.J. Scaringe has spoken of how the difficulties are even worse for Rivian because suppliers want to give their limited production to their most established customers first.
The second rationale given in the letter explained, “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.” Rivian’s web site lists 19 service centers across the country, and customers in close proximity to those have a better chance of receiving their orders. There is, for instance, one service center in the South, in Florida. The next-closest center to the north is in Virginia, the next closest to the west is Texas. That’s a lot of dark territory.
Not every R1S reservation who appeared in the forum thread has received an e-mail, so some deliveries could still be on track. One hopeful buyer wrote, “Was July-Sept now Oct December — ground hog day in these delay emails but falling into the trap thinking OK… This is legit final delay.” But in today’s world, we’re not sure there’s any legit final anything, especially not final delays.