Rivian plans to use dealerships to service its electric trucks and SUVs

Following Tesla’s lead, EV startup Rivian, which turned heads at the LA Auto Show with its prototype electric pickup and SUV, doesn’t plan to use traditional dealerships to sell its vehicles in most areas.

Buyers will order Rivians directly from the company – it’s already accepting pre-orders, secured by refundable $1,000 deposits. Unlike Tesla, however, Rivian does plan to use dealerships for service and support. Rivian founder and CEO R.J. Scaringe says these service centers could be located at other brands’ dealerships or at independent repair shops. He adds that Rivian has already seen a lot of interest from dealers.

The company also plans to set up its own “brand experience centers” where customers can test drive and order cars. Unlike Tesla’s facilities (don’t call them “stores”), Rivian’s establishments won’t be in malls, but neither will they follow the traditional dealership form factor of a showroom surrounded by acres of parking lots.

In states where direct sales by automakers are still illegal, such as Michigan and Texas, Rivian may partner with existing dealerships, Scaringe said.

Scaringe pointed out that the internet has empowered consumers with more information about vehicles, has practically put an end to the traditional haggling sales model, and has cut into dealerships’ margins on sales.

“Existing dealers are all recognizing that there are changes happening to their business,” Scaringe told Motor Authority. “There are aspects of what the dealers do that don’t get talked about enough,” namely service and support.


Source: Green Car Reports, Motor Authority

  • Michael Walsh

    Those headlights have got to be turned to be horizontal, not vertical. Or something else…

    Perhaps Rivian has heard of focus groups in which people can honestly express how they feel about a certain look. Everyone I have mentioned this to, are often scratching their heads. Yes.

    Nissan LEAF committed the original EV sin in 2010 by going with their in-house designer ideas and putting out the first production EV, designed to definitely stand out. The problem was that most everyone was not a fan of the gigantic bulbous headlamps, and it took 7 painful years to get rid of them!

    Here we go again with headlights (in the Spotlight!) –RIVIAN is about to stumble in broad daylight! Can we avoid another EV design debacle?
    Please speak up EV fans!!

    • Mars is a fixer-upper

      I really like them.

      • Michael Walsh

        Good. You can drive your prototype on Mars.. Have a nice trip! Bye

    • MoonStorm

      They should keep the design of the headlights. I thinks it looks great and stands out which what this truck is all about.

  • jstack6

    It sure does look ODD. a Simple change or option to make it look more standard could help it a lot. Let the customers decide when they order it. Have at least 2 choices for the looks of the head lights.

    • Michael Walsh

      Great idea. Apparently some people like the vertical look. Would be interesting if Rivian agreed to two options, they did not reply to my direct email, a copy of this post.
      Guess they are too busy to reply to potential customer input!