Watch now: Rivian delays delivery of electric trucks to September | Business

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Rivian Automotive says mass disruptions in global supply chains have caused another delay in the release of its special-edition electric truck.







NORMAL — Rivian Automotive announced Friday that delivery of the company’s inaugural electric truck will be delayed to September because of mass disruptions in global supply chains.

“The cascading impacts of the pandemic have had a compounding effect greater than anyone anticipated,” founder and CEO RJ Scaringe said Friday in an email to Rivian customers. “Everything from facility construction, to equipment installation, to vehicle component supply (especially semiconductors) has been impacted by the pandemic.”

Scaringe added that building three new vehicles while setting up its Normal production facility is “a complex orchestra of coordinated and interlinked activities where small issues can translate into ramp delays.”

It is the second time the electric vehicle company has pushed back shipments of the R1T, originally slated to hit the roads in June.

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A shortage of semiconductors, many of which are made in Asia, has caused widespread ripples in several sectors worldwide.

“It’s everything from facility construction to vehicle components, supply, and pretty much anything that could be impacted by the fact that we’re coming out of a pandemic,” said Zach Dietmeier, a Rivian spokesman. “We’re not the only ones in the world dealing with it, everyone is.”






R.J. Scaringe


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Rivian is building out the former Mitsubishi Motors Corp. in west Normal, purchased for $16 million from a liquidation firm in January 2017. It employs more than 2,100 at in Normal and 7,000 globally.

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The plant has two production lines currently producing vehicles, one to produce both the R1T pickup and R1S SUV, and a second line for its commercial vans. Rivian has built hundreds of vehicles during its validation process, many of which have been spotted on test runs.

“I have been asked why we aren’t delivering those vehicles or why we continue to test rather than deliver,” Scaringe said. “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.”

Scaringe acknowledged that the company needs to communicate with customers more frequently about deliveries. He said Rivian representatives will continue contacting customers to schedule deliveries and to answer questions. 

Rivian is coordinating a “multi-city, multi-format drive program” that is expected to begin in September. Rivian charging stations and service centers are expected to be built in several communities and the company is planning future community events.

“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,” Scaringe said.

Rivian is also making 100,000 electric vehicles for Amazon, set for delivery next year. 

The semiconductor shortage also idled the Ford assembly plant in Chicago, where the Ford Explorer, Lincoln Aviator and Police Interceptor SUVs are made, this spring. The Belvidere Assembly Plant near Rockford, where the Jeep Cherokee SUV is made, also shut down in March because of the problem. 

Lordstown Motors Corp., which has been developing electric vehicles at an Ohio plant, also scaled back production forecasts.

Contact Sierra Henry at 309-820-3234. Follow her on Twitter: @pg_sierrahenry.