A Class Of Its Own

Rivian pushes pickup, SUV sales debut into 2021

The shelter-at-house orders and other government limits that have brought North American light-weight-automobile output to a halt are forcing a hold off in the debut of a single of the U.S. vehicle industry’s newest upstarts.

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

The firm prepared to start out deliveries in late 2020 and now suggests purchaser shipments will start out in 2021.

“The globe has adjusted a good deal in these very last few weeks,” the firm mentioned in a letter April one to prospects. “This evolving new truth is not with no affect on our application timing. Even though we be expecting some stage of hold off, we are doing work to lower the disruption to our launch schedule.”

Rivian spokeswoman Amy Mast mentioned the firm can’t give far more steering on the profits launch outside of the 2021 window.

The hold off was very first reported by The Chicago Tribune.

Rivian services have been temporarily shuttered to defend workforce. The Plymouth, Mich., firm, with $2.8 billion in backing from Ford Motor Co. , Cox Automotive and Amazon, was scheduled to start out developing the substantial-efficiency R1T pickup and R1S SUV this year. But the retooling task and other development have been slowed simply because of the outbreak, Mast mentioned.

Most of the plant’s 350 salaried and hourly workforce have been idled simply because of the coronavirus outbreak, she mentioned. Practically a dozen Rivian workforce and sixty contractors keep on being on site at the 2.6-million-sq.-foot factory.

“We have switched to social distancing and a mainly digital perform ecosystem to maintain our plans on schedule as substantially as we can,” Mast mentioned.

All Rivian workforce — which includes hourly employees — are currently being paid out in full during the hiatus, she additional.

Amazon has ordered 100,000 custom electric shipping cars from Rivian, with the very first shipments of about ten,000 also scheduled for 2021.