04/06/2020

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The car that cares

Rivian pushes pickup, SUV sales debut into 2021

The shelter-at-dwelling orders and other government limitations that have introduced North American mild-vehicle output to...

The shelter-at-dwelling orders and other government limitations that have introduced North American mild-vehicle output to a halt are forcing a hold off in the debut of a single of the U.S. automobile industry’s newest upstarts.

Electric truck maker Rivian is pushing back again strategies to launch revenue of a pickup and SUV assembled at a resurrected Mitsubishi plant in Standard, Unwell.

The enterprise prepared to get started deliveries in late 2020 and now claims consumer shipments will get started in 2021.

“The entire world has transformed a lot in these past few weeks,” the enterprise reported in a letter April 1 to prospects. “This evolving new reality is not without the need of effects on our application timing. Although we expect some amount of hold off, we are functioning to minimize the disruption to our launch program.”

Rivian spokeswoman Amy Mast reported the enterprise won’t be able to give more steering on the revenue launch past the 2021 window.

The hold off was 1st claimed by The Chicago Tribune.

Rivian services have been temporarily shuttered to defend staff members. The Plymouth, Mich., enterprise, with $2.8 billion in backing from Ford Motor Co. , Cox Automotive and Amazon, was scheduled to get started making the high-functionality R1T pickup and R1S SUV this calendar year. But the retooling venture and other design have been slowed since of the outbreak, Mast reported.

Most of the plant’s 350 salaried and hourly staff members have been idled since of the coronavirus outbreak, she reported. Practically a dozen Rivian staff members and 60 contractors continue being on site at the 2.six-million-sq.-foot manufacturing unit.

“We’ve switched to social distancing and a generally electronic function ecosystem to retain our strategies on program as substantially as we can,” Mast reported.

All Rivian staff members — together with hourly staff — are getting compensated in full throughout the hiatus, she included.

Amazon has purchased one hundred,000 tailor made electric shipping cars from Rivian, with the 1st shipments of about 10,000 also scheduled for 2021.