Rivian orders placed after 20% price hike appear to jump the line, angering early order-holders
Rivian has angered its early customers yet again with updated delivery dates this week.
Rivian raised its vehicle prices last year and faced backlash.
Now it seems the automaker is prioritizing delivery of its more expensive vehicles first.
Some long-time Rivian order-holders got angry with the company this week after some more recent orders — those placed after the young automaker hiked its prices — appear to have jumped the line.
Rivian sent email updates to order-holders this week, as it does every three months, either delaying or bumping up vehicle delivery dates.
Some R1S SUV orders placed after March 2022 — when Rivian hiked prices about 20% — are now slated to be filled before less-expensive orders placed earlier, according to customer posts on Twitter and in company forums, and orders reviewed directly by Insider.
This is at least the second time Rivian has faced backlash from its early customers over changes to their orders.
When Rivian announced the price hike, the move originally included customers with pre-existing configured orders and deposits in place. Rivian quickly backtracked that decision, deciding to honor original pricing for existing customers while applying the changes to upcoming preorders.
Now it appears that the orders placed after the price hike are getting priority.
Last year, the quad-motor R1S jumped from $70,000 to $84,500. Meanwhile, the dual-motor R1S jumped from $70,000 and now starts at $78,000. That means that quad-motor R1S orders, placed before the price hike, cost less than dual-motor R1S orders placed after it. Of note is that, given the direct-to-consumer model by which Rivian and other EV startups operate, the company does not book revenue until a car reaches the customer's driveway.
A Rivian spokesperson declined to comment on specific customer orders, but said in a statement to Insider that "delivery window estimates are based on a number of factors, including delivery location, configuration and original preorder or reservation date."
EV price changes give customers whiplash
Rivian's not the only automaker to change prices. Tesla and Ford have gone in the other direction, but their pricing war has caused its own collateral damage.
Tesla most recently angered customers who discovered the new vehicles they had shelled out cash for had dropped in value overnight. (Ford, meanwhile, is making an effort to refund customers who bought the Mustang Mach-E before the company cut the price earlier this week.)
Though Rivian just missed its production guidance of 25,000 vehicles in 2022, the company had delivered 20,332 vehicles to customers by the end of the year. It was sitting on nearly $14 billion in cash as of the end of Q3. But Rivian hasn't been exempt from the supply chain and production challenges that have hobbled other EV startups and even legacy automakers.
On Wednesday, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe notified staff that the company is laying off 6% of its workforce, according to an email obtained by Insider. This follows a 6% cut the company made just last July.
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