The Subsequent Tesla? Buyers Wager Large on Electrical Truck Maker Rivian
One other massive pattern reshaping the auto business is autonomous vehicles. On Tuesday, Cruise, a unit of G.M. that’s working in that space, introduced it had raised $2 billion from Microsoft, G.M., Honda and different traders. Rivian and Tesla are additionally engaged on automated-driving know-how.
Rivian is completely different from Tesla in a number of respects. Tesla to date has grown by promoting sporty sedans, a kind of auto that’s falling out of favor with shoppers. Tesla intends to start making an oddly angular, futuristic pickup, the Cybertruck, later this 12 months. But it surely hasn’t but put heavy give attention to the vans and S.U.V.s that make up 75 p.c of the passenger automobile market in the US.
Rivian, then again, is concentrated on producing “journey” automobiles that house owners can take off-road, an method which means Rivian gained’t typically compete head-to-head with Tesla. “There’s a notion that that is winner take all, and that’s simply incorrect,” he stated. “Shoppers must have completely different manufacturers, completely different flavors. Our success is under no circumstances mutually unique to others’ success.”
Rebecca Puck Stair is the type of automobile purchaser Rivian hopes to draw. A film location scout in Albuquerque, N.M., she has been desirous about shopping for an electrical automobile for a couple of years, however wants excessive floor clearance and four-wheel drive functionality for assignments that take her into the desert. “That didn’t exist out there,” she stated. “A Tesla doesn’t match my wants.”
A couple of 12 months in the past, she heard about Rivian for the primary time and put a deposit down on an S.U.V. the following day — like Tesla, the corporate doesn’t plan to promote via sellers. Ms. Stair has seen the Cybertruck, however the design will not be for her. “It simply screams ‘obnoxious man truck,’” she stated laughing.
Rivian’s truck and S.U.V., which begin at $67,500, look extra typical, as if they may have been designed by Land Rover.
In contrast to Tesla, which is making an attempt to develop rapidly, Rivian is taking measured steps. Final 12 months, earlier than the pandemic struck, it stated it deliberate to make round 20,000 pickup vans and S.U.V.s in 2021 and a few 40,000 in 2022. It has not but provided an up to date outlook. It’s aiming to have manufacturing capability in Regular of 250,000 automobiles a 12 months by the center of the last decade. The corporate has not disclosed what number of orders it has taken, however a spokeswoman stated it has prospects lined up for all of the automobiles it expects to make this 12 months.
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