Top 5 Reasons Rivian Will Succeed in the EV Revolution
As the EV revolution gains momentum, Rivian continues to attract electric vehicle enthusiasts. Rivian is an American automotive company founded in 2009 by Robert “RJ” Scaringe developing all electric vehicles. The company has 3,000+ employees and is headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan.
The current EV landscape is ever growing, with Tesla clearly at the head of the pack. Many automotive companies are entering the arena, but only the elite will last. In this article we will discuss the top 5 reasons Rivian will succeed (and even compete with Tesla).
Rivian is targeting a specific sector of the automotive market, trucks and SUVs. More specifically they are targeting the “outdoorsy” demographic (this is very clear from their marketing material). While the CyberTruck is certainly enticing in it’s own way, Rivian is hoping that their vehicles will be a better option for everyday use (and still allow for off-roading and camping adventures). The R1T is Rivian’s entrance to the pickup truck market which sold ~2 million vehicles in the US in 2020 alone. For a direct comparison of these two all electric pickup trucks check out our Rivian R1T vs CyberTruck Side by Side Pickup Truck Comparison.
The pickup truck market is currently heavily dominated by Chevrolet, Ford, Ram, and Toyota, but Rivian hopes to cut their sliver and claim some of this market share.
By differentiating themselves from other automotive companies by targeting a Niche market, Rivian is setting themselves up for success. Instead of going after the entire auto industry, they are focused on a much smaller sub-set of the market and have a strategy to dominate within this space.
Another way Rivian plans to distinguish itself from current and future competitors is by offering unique product features. Tesla has proven that vehicle consumers are now looking for innovative vehicle offerings, and no longer willing to accept a vehicle that simply gets you from point A to point B. Tesla vehicles have large center console displays packed with endless vehicle options, controls, and settings that make driving a vehicle an experience instead of a task.
Rivian plans to follow suite and has announce several unique vehicle features that take driving to a new level. For example Rivian drivers will be able to “Tank Turn“, which allows you to rotate 360 degrees in place about a center axis of the vehicle (essentially a turning radius of zero).
This is accomplished by the wheels on the left side of the vehicle rotating in one direction while the wheels on the right side of the vehicle rotating in the other direction. This is possible because each wheel has it own dedicated electric motor which can rotate independently.
Another cool feature is that the front of Rivian’s vehicle have a LED light bar which shows you the charge status. They even have a portable kitchen add-on option offering a stove, warmer, and sink.
These are the types of features that attract consumers and provide free marketing to the company when they tell all of their friends (and post photos/videos of these awesome features all over social media). There is no doubt that there will soon be endless viral video content of people “tank turning” in parking lots and dirt patches all over the world.
Rivian is highly funded and backed by some of the largest, most well known companies around including Amazon (AMZN), T. Rowe Price (TROW), and Ford (F). If you are a stock market investor I would highly encourage you to check out EV Unite’s article How to Invest in Tesla EV Competitor Rivian Before they go Public for more information about how to expose yourself to Rivian’s growth before they go public. To date, Rivian has received a total funding amount of $5.6 Billion.
Early investors include Amazon who led a $700 Million investment round in February of 2019 and Ford Motor Company who led a $500 Million investment round in April of 2019. This was later followed by 2 successive investment rounds led by T. Rowe Price at the end of 2019 and middle of 2020 totaling a massive funding of $3.8 Billion. Yes that is Billion with a ‘B’. Rivian has the financial backing they need to get to production, and will likely raise even more money as they accomplish milestones.
Early to Market
While there are many automotive companies entering the electric vehicle space, Rivian is one of the first all electric vehicle companies to arrive at the party (Tesla being the first). Rivian’s highly anticipated R1T all electric pickup truck is scheduled for January 2022 deliveries, with the R1S Launch Edition SUV beginning deliveries as early as August of 2021. These delivery estimates almost perfectly line up Tesla’s CyberTruck (which is expected to begin deliveries in late 2021).
While Tesla has already began to capture the electric SUV space (with their Model X and Model Y), the door is still wide open for Rivian to claim a share of the pickup truck market. They are positioned well to gain control of this market sector as other automotive companies struggle to even begin development of a competing product. Being early to market (or even better, first) in a space can give a company a massive advantage if their product is high quality and embraced.
Rivian has a top-notch roster of highly experienced people leading the company. Having elite leadership is critical for a company to succeed in a highly competitive market. Here are the key people driving the company forward:
Robert “RJ” Scaringe – Chief Executive Officer
- MIT Graduated, MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering
Jiten Behl – Chief Strategy Officer
- University of Chicago Booth School of Business, MBA, Strategic Management, Finance, Entrepreneurship
Ryan Green – Chief Financial Officer
- Michigan State, Bachelors in Finance, Wayne State University MBA
- Over 9 years experience working at Harley Davidson Motor Company (Financial Planning Manager, Plant Controller, Director Financial Planning & Analysis)
Nick Kalayjian – Executive Vice President of Engineering
- Standord University, Masters in Mechanical Engineering
- Over 10 years experience working at Tesla (Engineering Manager, Director of Engineering, VP of Engineering)
All of the Rivian’s leaders have impressive resume’s and tons of experience. This impressive list of executives gives Rivian a strong structure to succeed.
Rivian has a high probability that they will succeed due to their market differentiation, product features, financial backing, early entry to the market, and strong leadership. With the R1S and R1T right around the corner, all eyes are on Rivian as they enter the EV world and attempt to claim their space in the electric vehicle revolution. While the EV space continues to see more and more competition, Rivian seems to have all of the key element of success lined up to rock the automotive industry.
What do you think? Will Rivian succeed? Will they dominate? Will they fall short? Will they fail and go out of business? Leave a comment below and join the conversation!
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