According to Rivian founder and CEO R.J. Scaringe, his company will follow up on its first two products (full size SUV and pickup) with smaller models aimed at Chinese and European markets.
So while the R1S SUV will go on sale in Europe come 2022 and China soon after, “what will really drive volume in those markets is the follow-on products,” which are smaller and tailored for overseas customers, explained Scaringe in an interview with Reuters.
These smaller EVs, which will still share key components with the pickup and SUV, will “fit some of those other markets really well, in particular China,” he said.
“To really scale in those markets as we bring on follow-on products, having a production footprint outside the U.S. is going to be important. That’s a ways off.”
“We wouldn’t be serious about building a car company if we weren’t thinking about China and Europe as important markets long term,” concluded the Rivian founder.
The company’s first plant in Normal, Illinois has already begun pilot production ahead of next year’s debuts, which will include the R1T pickup, R1S SUV and a large electric delivery van for Amazon – the latter built on similar underpinnings as the pickup and SUV.
By the time Rivian comes out with smaller models (probably crossovers, since they would make the most sense), the EV market will already be very crowded thanks to the likes of Tesla, GM, Ford, as well as various German brands and several EV startups. Thankfully, there’s room for everyone.