American eCommerce giant Amazon-backed electric vehicle (EV) startup Rivian Automotive will delay the first deliveries of the long-awaited pickup truck by more than a month due to supply chain issues, according to a letter written by its CEO to customers.
The Amazon and Ford-backed EV startup originally planned to start delivering its electric pickup, the R1T, and its SUV, the R1S, in 2020. But the company scrambled those plans due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and said at the time that it would start deliveries in 2021 instead.
Rivian, seen as a potential Tesla rival, said the timing for the first deliveries of its R1T pickup initially slated for July has now been pushed to September, while that of R1S SUVs has been delayed until the fall.
“The cascading impacts of the pandemic have had a compounding effect greater than anyone anticipated. Everything from facility construction to equipment installation, to vehicle component supply, has been impacted,” Chief Executive Officer Mr. R.J. Scaringe said in a letter.
The global semiconductor crunch has forced carmakers including Volkswagen, Ford, and General Motors to cut output as the chip market was swept clean by makers of consumer electronics.
Rivian, founded in 2009, kept an extremely low profile until 2018 when it debuted the R1T and R1S at LA Auto Show. Since then, it has raised more than $8 billion, from Amazon, Ford, and other institutional investors. The company is also working on going public and reports suggest that it could target a valuation of about $70 billion. Its workforce has also ballooned to more than 7,000 employees.
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