Rivian R1T deliveries delayed until September

Rivian R1T open
Image via Rivian

Excited Rivian R1T reservation holders were hoping to receive their new electric pickup trucks this month. Unfortunately it looks like they are going to have to wait at least a few more months as they are now expected to arrive in September.

The news was delivered in a letter sent directly to reservation holders by CEO RJ Scaringe. In the letter Scaringe expressed his disappointment with the delay, saying it will also impact the R1S electric SUV.

“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,” Scaringe wrote.

The CEO also blamed the delay on a number of issues including the global chip shortage and the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also cited the difficulty of trying to setup new manufacturing facilities while at the same time trying to launch three new vehicles.

“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,” he added.

Setting the tone for what may be more delays, Scaringe said their goal is to continue to test the hundreds of vehicles they have already built to iron out any quality control issues.

“”We have now built hundreds of vehicles as part of our validation process, with many of those spotted out in the wild covered in unique vinyl wraps. I have been asked why we aren’t delivering those vehicles or why we continue to test rather than deliver. We believe it is critical to both our long-term success and your ultimate satisfaction that the quality and robustness of our launch products truly sets the tone for what to expect from us as a brand.”

The letter did not mention if this latest delay will also impact Canadian deliveries. The R1T was expected to arrive in Canada in November, and the R1S shortly after that. We have reached out to Rivian for information and will update this article when we get a response.

UPDATE: In a statement to Drive Tesla, Rivian confirmed Canadian deliveries of the R1T are unaffected and still on track for November.

This is the second delivery delay announced by Rivian. The automaker was initially hoping to deliver their first vehicles in June, but announced a one-month delay just days before the month began. To help soften the blow they gave customers the option to make their Launch Edition and Adventure Package R1T trucks $2,000 cheaper by making the Off-Road Upgrade Package optional.

Here is a copy of the full letter sent to reservation holders (via Automotive News).

Hello –

I am writing this letter from our Normal, IL manufacturing plant where our teams are working around the clock to ramp production of our R1T, R1S and commercial vans. It is amazing to see the plant come to life through the work of so many passionate team members.

As I’ve watched our team grow to more than 7,000 people, I’ve also witnessed the excitement from our supporters stretch even greater. Whether you were among our first reservation holders or you’re new to the community, thank you for putting your trust in us and showing so much enthusiasm for our products.

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.

There are many reasons why our production ramp is taking longer than expected. 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.

Our plant in Normal, IL has two separate production lines currently producing vehicles, one for the R1 vehicles (initially R1T and R1S) and one for our commercial vans. We have now built hundreds of vehicles as part of our validation process, with many of those spotted out in the wild covered in unique vinyl wraps. I have been asked why we aren’t delivering those vehicles or why we continue to test rather than deliver. We believe it is critical to both our long-term success and your ultimate satisfaction that the quality and robustness of our launch products truly sets the tone for what to expect from us as a brand.

I have spoken with a number of you and know we need to do a better job at communicating specifics around deliveries. Our Guides will continue reaching out to schedule deliveries and will be there for any questions throughout the process. We are also preparing for a multi-city, multi-format drive program set to roll out in September. You’ll start to see Rivian charging sites and service centers being built in your local communities; and as we head into the end of the year, you’ll also start to see events, programs and spaces where we’ll be able to bring our Rivian community together.

Lastly, I have spent a lot of time in the R1T and R1S in just about every conceivable environment, and I am excited for you to experience the combination of refinement, capability and performance – it will be worth the wait!

You’ll be hearing more from us over the coming weeks with additional updates and progress.

Thanks again for your support and being on this adventure with us.

About Darryn John 2913 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-chief of Drive Tesla Canada | Darryn@DriveTeslaCanada.ca Have a Tesla tip? Email tips@driveteslacanada.ca, or DM us on Twitter @DriveTeslaca