What? Rivian Just Increased the Price of its R1T Pickup by $12,000!

We’ve all seen price adjustments for new vehicles, but this is unbelievable. Rivian just jacked the price of its R1T pickup by $12,000. That’s roughly 20 percent. But the news gets worse.

Does the price hike apply to reservation holders?

Rivian R1T
Rivian R1T electric truck on Oct. 20, 2021 | Getty

Those with existing Rivian reservations won’t get a price hike pass. They’re now on the hook for $12,000 more than they signed up for. As you would imagine, component costs and inflation are said to be the reason for the higher prices. 

“Like most manufacturers, Rivian is being confronted with inflationary pressure, increasing component costs, and unprecedented supply-chain shortages and delays for parts, including semiconductor chips,” a company spokeswoman told Barrons. “This rise in cost and complexity due to these challenging circumstances necessitate an increase to the prices of the R1T and R1S models we offer today, prices which were originally set in 2018.”

The fact that Rivian was offering trucks at prices it established in 2018 is Rivian’s problem. Aren’t the Rivian bean counters not aware of adjusted inflation? Did it expect no components or labor costs to increase each year? Unfortunately, this shows that Rivian is a company that can’t control its costs. 

Rivian spends more than it takes in

A yellow and a green Rivian electric truck parked in the mountains.
2022 Rivian R1T | Rivian

Simply put; Rivian is spending a lot more than it is taking in. Yes, material and labor costs will result in this happening. But so does poor pricing and marketing that isn’t working. And ignoring the price by not taking into account yearly inflation. 

As an example, Tesla has already increased prices a couple of times in 2021 alone. Sales have remained as they were before the pricing announcements, with little notice by the media and critics. And also, the new pricing wasn’t 20 percent more. 

Do base model Rivians get that same increase?

Orange-red 2022 Rivian R1T driving off-road, highlighting advantages of electric vehicles vs. gas-powered cars
2022 Rivian R1T | Rivian

The good news is that the base price remains at $67,500. But most R1Ts are being ordered with a lot more options. Those have increased considerably, based on its online configuration tool. This also means that the SUV version of the R1T will see a higher price than anticipated, especially for loaded R1S models. 

Specifically, the price for a fully-optioned R1S is now $106,515. That’s getting into Hummer EV territory, without a lot of the options the Hummer features. Things like the retracting glass and four-wheel steering. It also bumps into the price of the Tesla Model X at $110,490; and Porsche Taycan 4S Cross-Turismo at 111,650. However, those prices are for base models, and some would not define them as SUVs. 

And while we’re comparing, on the plus side the R1T doesn’t have the Hummer’s humongous weight. The R1T comes in at 7,100 lbs, whereas the Hummer is almost 10,000 lbs. 

Upset reservation holders have a choice

Two Rivian trucks, aided by Ford's Rivian investment, parked in a large city.
Rivian trucks | Getty Images

For upset reservation holders, they can lower the price they will now be paying by downgrading. They can opt for the dual-motor standard battery setup, rather than the quad-motor Large battery option. Each of those better options is $6,000 each. But according to Inside EVs, these won’t be in customers’ hands until some time in 2024

As an aside, investors are not especially happy either. Rivian stock has dropped almost 14 percent after the price hike news. It is now at its lowest value since arriving on the stock exchange in November 2021. 

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