Until the COVID-19 pandemic halted much of the automotive industry from supplier to salesman, Rivian had been set to begin production of their all-electric R1T truck and R1S SUV in the coming months. Now, reporting by The Chicago Tribune indicates that the company’s timeline for launch has been pushed back to 2021.
Rivian has since confirmed the delay.
The R1S SUV was slated to be the first off the line at Rivian’s plant near Chicago, a former Mitsubishi facility. Rivian counts Ford and Amazon among its investors with Ford’s luxury arm Lincoln planning to use the Rivian SUV’s underpinnings for an electric Lincoln SUV. Amazon is working with the company on an electric delivery van.
General Motors, Ford, and FCA plants are among those shut down by the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Photo courtesy of General Motors
The plant currently has 11 workers and 60 contractors in its 2.6 million square feet of space, all of whom are practicing social distancing and mostly doing electrical work as retooling of the facility continues, according to Rivian spokesperson Amy Mast. Mast also told the Tribune that all Rivian employees
are being paid in full during the business slowdown.
Rivian isn’t the only automaker hurt by the global health crisis. Most U.S. automobile factories are shut down and the two of the largest buying markets in the world – China and the U.S. – have seen their economies come to a virtual standstill in Q1 due to the virus.