Out of all of the recent newcomers to the automotive industry, perhaps none are more interesting than Rivian. The electric vehicle manufacturer has amassed an enormous amount of support, both from individual buyers and corporate investors alike. Just last month, the startup announced that their most recent funding round brought in over $2.65 billion. That cash couldn’t have come at a better time either, as the automaker gears up to get their Rivian R1T and R1S models out to customers by year’s end. In order to continue to drive customer interest, Rivian has just announced they are opening a showroom in Chicago’s Fulton Market.
According to the report by Crain’s Chicago Business, Rivian plans to open a showroom located at 932 W. Randolph St., which is just down the street from McDonald’s headquarters, and several of the city’s hippest restaurants, bars and stores. This facility will be the company’s first showroom in the country, but it is not the only one they have planned. According to the report, Rivian has plans to open ten of these showrooms across the United States. Thus far, we know that a second location is planned to open in Laguna Beach, California. Customers will not actually be able to purchase a vehicle from these locations, but rather they’ll get a chance to peek around the EVs.
The Windy City may seem like an odd choice of locale for the first of these showrooms, but the automaker believes that the city will be a key to their future success. That isn’t all that hard to believe, considering Chicago is the third largest city in the United States.
Despite Rivian’s recent HQ move to East Irvine, California, the automaker has deep roots in the Great Lakes region of America. While in Southeast Michigan, the company benefited from the highest engineer per capita ratio in the country, surrounded by an infrastructure fundamentally dedicated to the automotive industry. Meanwhile, Rivian will be building the R1T and R1S electric vehicles not in California, but Normal, Illinois. A quaint town just two hours southwest of Chicago.
Fulton Market is a popular “up-and-coming” neighborhood in Chicago, which is known for its restaurant scene and well-heeled residents. Having been to Fulton Market more than just a couple of times, we can say that the trendy neighborhood is no longer up-and-coming, but fully gentrified.
It would then make it perfect location then for a well-funded EV company looking to pillage sales away from Tesla. Not that Rivian will have too hard of a time doing that, thanks to their pickup and SUV focused strategy. In a midwestern metropolis like Chicago, these sort of vehicles are still beloved and desired. Even if the Rivian products carry an MSRP that starts at $67,500.
The Rivian R1T and R1S models are slated to begin deliveries this summer. Rivan R1T Launch Edition models are said to begin deliveries in June, whereas Rivian R1S SUV won’t start rolling out until August. The 100,000 delivery vans that Amazon has ordered from the automaker are also expected to begin deliveries this year, though not until sometime during Q4. Would you be interested in checking out a Rivian showroom, either in Chicago or another U.S. City? Let us know down below.