Automakers have been working to streamline options to make the most of the supply chain crisis. However, it has been extremely difficult for longtime OEMs and even more difficult for newer companies such as Rivian. That’s why the electric pickup and SUV maker has decided to discontinue its entry-level Explore trim for the R1T pickup and R1S SUV. The elimination applies to those who had pre-orders and confirmed orders.
Rivian R1T and R1S: Entry-Level Trim Cut Details
Customers with pre-orders waiting to confirm have until September 1 to upgrade their pre-order to the Adventure trim or cancel their orders and have their deposits refunded. Meanwhile, buyers with confirmed orders for the Explore trim have until September 16 to convert their orders, or they will be removed from the queue and receive a refund.
In a letter to customers, Rivian gave two reasons for this decision. The first was that the company expected more people to order the entry-level trim. At the end of June, Rivian told shareholders that the pre-order line counted 98,000 people in the U.S. and Canada. However, it’s unclear how many pickup orders were for the Explore trim. Of the several thousand Rivian R1T pickups that have been delivered so far none have been Explore trims. That’s due to the company focusing on high-value builds to offset the cash burn that toasted $1.7 billion in the second quarter of this year.
The second reason Rivian gave is that they believe they can build more trucks if it has only one kind to build. Essentially, by focusing on the Adventure trim, they can streamline their supply chain and deliver vehicles more quickly. With the trim reshuffle, the new starting price for the Rivian R1T is $73,000, and the R1S is now $78,000. Many will likely complain or have already done so on forums with the new prices. But it’s not surprising as many EVs have seen significant price increases heading into their second years on the market.