That means that some reservation holders will have to wait longer, and others will have a shorter wait ahead of them than they expected.
Ramping up production of a new car model is tough for any company, but as we saw with Tesla's Model 3 "production hell," it can be even tougher for a newer car company. That's why Rivian is reshuffling build orders, according to an email sent to reservation holders on Tuesday.
What does this mean for Rivian? To start with, it means that the company can prioritize and batch up production runs for the most efficiency. More efficiency ultimately means more cars getting delivered to customers, which is obviously the goal of this whole business thing. Rivian is finding that efficiency in a couple of ways; first, it's prioritizing orders for vehicles with the Black Mountain and Forest Edge color combos. This is because they're easier and quicker to produce than the Ocean Coast version with its light wood trim.
Next, Rivian plans to batch up vehicles with the same colors and wheel selections to simplify production overall. This means that vehicles equipped with the Adventure Package will be sharing production line space with Launch Edition vehicles, which was previously not necessarily the case.
What does this mean for customers? It means that for some of you, your wait to get your brand-new Rivian got longer. It's a bummer, but for others, it means that their wait has gotten shorter. Rivian is giving people with a build date in 2022 the option to adjust their chosen configuration to suit the new build ramp and avoid delays. However, if those customers don't want to change, then their order is still good; it'll just take a little longer.
It's unclear how these changes will affect folks with build dates in 2023 or later, and Rivian doesn't seem to know either because it's asking those people to simply "sit tight for now."
It's clear that these changes are going to rankle some folks, which is reasonable. Still, it's also nice to see a company attempting to do a good job of managing customer expectations with clear communication.