One of the most entertaining and interactive milestones that comes with every highly-anticipated automobile is the launch of its configurator. This is where you can visualize the exact spec of the vehicle you want, be it Ford Bronco, or C8 Corvette, or even something electric like the Rivian R1S and/or Rivian R1T. Well, at least that was the case up until recently.
In an effort to curb customer disappointment down the line Rivian has seemingly killed its own vehicle configurator. You can still peruse options and daydream about your vehicle but actual configuration won’t be allowed until your order gets close to its production date.
Frostbit3, a member of RivianForums, shared an email he received after placing an order for a new Rivian R1S. In a nutshell, it said that new Rivian customers will place orders without having the ability to configure their vehicle until closer to their expected delivery date ,which if placed now, won’t be until late 2023 or further out. Order holders can still browse vehicle options on Rivian’s website but the ability to save configurations will not be present any longer.
The email, which came from the all-electric manufactures Head of Customer Engagement, Tony Caravano, goes on to explain why the company is making this change. It’s all in an effort to ensure customers get what they configure and aren’t poorly surprised later on when a certain option is no longer available for whatever reason. The company is looking to manage expectations given their influx of orders to deal with. If you already have a pre-order in the system though you should be in the clear, this change applies to new customers, not those with a current pending order.
Rivian was the first all-electric pick-up truck maker to the market, beating Ford’s F-150 Lightning, the Chevy Silverado EV , and Tesla’s Cybertruck. The Rivian R1T (Rivians truck) has a starting price of $67,500 while the R1S (Rivians SUV) begins at $72,500. Rivian also has fleet contracts with Amazon which may be the culprit of its retail customer’s long delivery wait times. The new Rivian plant being built in Georgia should be capable of producing 400,000 units a year, but completion on that plant isn’t expected until sometime in 2024. That’s if everything goes smoothly. Unfortunately, as with the rest of the auto industry, Rivian is dealing with some strong headwinds, and will have to endure them for what looks like the foreseeable future.