Rivian Plans To Make Up To 155,000 R2 SUVs Annually In Illinois

By automotive-mag.com 3 Min Read

Rivian plans to make up to 155,000 R2 SUVs annually at its plant in Normal, Illinois, the electric vehicle startup said on Tuesday. It shows just how much Rivian expects the upcoming model to juice its sales and addressable market. 

In its first-quarter earnings report on Tuesday, the EV maker said that upcoming upgrades to its Illinois factory would yield a total production capacity of 215,000 units. That would include both the future R2 and its current stable of products: the R1T pickup truck, the R1S SUV and the commercial delivery van that counts Amazon among its commercial customers. 

The R2, revealed in March, is absolutely key to Rivian’s future. The roughly $45,000 crossover SUV hits right at the sweet spot of America’s car market and takes direct aim at Tesla’s popular Model Y. It should attract far more buyers than the comparatively expensive R1 series ever could. That’s important for Rivian’s long-term financial health. 

To put things into perspective, Rivian made right around 57,000 vehicles last year. It’s planning to do the same this year. It seems like production won’t improve meaningfully until R2 production is in full swing. Then, Rivian expects sales to take off, pretty much exclusively on the back of the R2. 

Still, Rivian will have some flexibility in how it achieves that 215,000 units of production, explained company CFO Claire McDonough. The plant will be set up to produce a maximum of 85,000 R1 vehicles, a maximum of 65,000 commercial vans and the aforementioned 155,000 R2s, she said. So the company will be able to flex manufacturing capacity on various production lines to meet demand. 

In the U.S. the only electric vehicles with more than 155,000 annual sales are the Tesla Model Y and Model 3, as noted by BloombergNEF EV analyst Corey Cantor on social media. But remember, the R2 is destined for global markets. So Rivian may very well pull off those kinds of numbers.

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