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Rivian Buyers Will Not Be Able To Lock In a Price After Overhauling the Ordering Process

It looks like Rivian has learned its lesson after it botched the price hike in March and changed the whole ordering process. This has left new customers without the possibility to lock in a price, thus being vulnerable to future price increases.
Rivian buyers will not be able to lock in a price after the order process was overhauled 12 photos
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Rivian announced a major price spike in March, with as much as 20% added to the MSRP of the R1T and R1S. Many gave up their reservations when they saw the new prices. Following a major backlash, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe backtracked and said that the existing reservation holders will get their vehicles at the reservation prices. Far from making everyone happy, it got Rivian into a lawsuit after one disgruntled investor claimed Rivian has deliberately mispriced its vehicles.

Rivian has learned from its past mistake and decided to not let reservation holders keep their reservation prices anymore. A new reservation system will be introduced soon, separating the ordering and the configuration steps. Although the information is sparse, Rivian said that customers will still be able to place an order, but the final configuration will not be locked until closer to when the car will actually be built.

New customers will still be able to browse through options; however, the ability to save a specific configuration will not happen until closer to a customer’s build slot,” writes Rivian in its Q1 2022 letter to shareholders. “This change ensures that when a build is configured, the customer is choosing from the latest features, packages, and pricing.”

There’s nothing wrong with choosing from the latest features and packages, it’s the latest pricing that’s bothering people. Rivian has more than 90,000 orders in its backlog, and this means more than a year of waiting time. A lot can change in a year’s time, and the prices will surely increase. The new ordering process means Rivian will not have to offer their vehicles at the reservation prices anymore. Good for Rivian, bad for the customers.

Rivian move is certainly watched closely by other carmakers, Tesla included. Elon Musk hinted at closing the order books for Tesla’s most in-demand models, which is another way of not allowing customers to lock in a price for their vehicles. Tesla’s approach is arguably better, though, as its customers will know what they’ll pay at the time they order their cars.


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