Rivian is going to enter a process of reorganization whose main goal is to split the business into two parts: one making passenger vehicles, with the other exclusively developing commercial offerings. It will also perform a high level management change, since its current head of manufacturing, Charly Mwangi, will step down to be replaced on June 1 with Frank Klein from Magna International.
This may not seem like the best time to appoint a new boss of manufacturing, just as the fledgling automaker is trying to ramp up production of its first series model, the R1T, in order to stick to delivery deadlines. However, these deadlines are not being met, frustrating some order holders and it will soon also begin shipping the SUV version of the same basic model called the R1S, making it even more difficult for it to keep its delivery promises.
The company initially announced it would build just a few variants at first, in order to keep things as simple as possible for both it and its suppliers, allowing them to ramp production up faster. However, Rivian began building vehicles in a time of constant shortages (especially for semiconductors) and even more recently supply chain issues caused by the war in Ukraine, of the kind which have swept across the industry, leaving no manufacturer unaffected.
According to RJ Scaringe, CEO of Rivian,
This is an important time for our growing business, all of which is happening in an extremely challenging environment. We are well-positioned for long-term success, but we must continuously evaluate how we operate.
The seven-seater R1S is slated to begin reaching customers in June and the manufacturer also wants to begin building and shipping the other (more affordable) versions of the R1T by the end of the year too. At first, Rivian will build the R1T in Launch Edition guise, and once all those are built, it will move to the Adventure and Explore trims, just like it did with the pickup.
Rivian also has plans that reach further into the future and wants to build up a much larger range than the one it has today, for both retail and commercial buyers. The automaker has trademarked a whole slew of model names, some of which are very similar to today’s models, while others may not be this style of off-road-oriented offerings.
Originally published at https://insideevs.com/news/588656/rivian-manufacturing-boss-leaves-company-reorganization/