Rivian Explains Vehicle Servicing Program

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
rivian explains vehicle servicing program

Over the last few months, the automotive industry has been feeding the media a steady stream of materials about how great electric vehicles are. Your author even spent an hour last week on a press call where a famous German automaker attempted to educate us on how to use the cost of ownership over 10 years to help readers rationalize buying them over something requiring gasoline. While that should stay something about how the industry sees our relationship, it also seems to indicate it’s preparing an EV offensive in North America or has next to nothing up its sleeve for the remainder of 2020.

Of course, these are the legacy manufacturers we’re discussing, EV startups walk a slightly different path. Awash with more investment funding that seems reasonable, they’re in the midst of setting up factories so they can begin production of largely hypothetical products. There are also logistical questions that need handling, including figuring out who will be fixing EVs when nobody seems interesting selling them using the dealership model.

Over the weekend, Rivian explained how it planned on handling repairs. Though, if you thought it would be more complicated than copying a page from the Tesla playbook, you’re going to be disappointed.

With roughly half a year separating the company from its big production launch of all-electric pickups and SUVs, Rivian has failed to address how vehicle servicing would work. Over-the-air updates are supposed to handle the occasional bugged line of code but won’t be able to do much for smashed-in bodywork or mechanical components that need to be recalled. As such, the company has decided to create the Certified Rivian Repair Network.

The group will be comprised of physical service centers and certified professionals doing house calls. Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe recently informed Automotive News that the plan is to have the repair network up and running before most customers take delivery of the firm’s upcoming EVs — including the 100,000 vans it has promised to Amazon. While physical locations will be initially be limited to major markets, a fleet of mobile service units is supposed to pick up the slack.

“We’re launching a large number of service centers throughout the U.S., really in the next nine months, 41 service centers. In addition to those service centers, we’re building a very robust network of mobile service [providers] that will come to you, your business or your home,” Scaringe elaborated.

“What we deeply believe is that a significant majority of service operations necessary on a vehicle can be done remotely, can be done with our mobile service network, which from a customer’s point of view simplifies things dramatically. They no longer have to think about dropping their vehicles off. Service just happens when customers are at their house or at their office.”

This part of the brand’s “digital commerce platform” which foreshadows a subscription plan where vehicles are basically rented for a period of years, rather than purchased by an owner. The only reason Rivian hasn’t done this already is that insurance and financing haven’t been sorted out. But Scaringe said the company was working on things to have an all-encompassing “purchasing program” ready for consumers before 2022.

Servicing has to take priority, however. Last week, the company issued an online questionnaire for shops hoping to join the Certified Rivian Repair Network so it can start the evaluation process. Only those certified will be eligible to purchase Rivian replacement parts. If you’re the owner of an independent collision repair shop with a little experience working on EVs, you’re welcome to fill it out here to see if you qualify.

[Image: Rivian]

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  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Nov 16, 2020

    "including the 100,000 vans it has promised to Amazon" Speaking of Amazon... Amazon has done a fairly amazing job of upgrading their own distribution network during the pandemic. https://tinyurl.com/yx8w3l8g

  • Indi500fan Indi500fan on Nov 16, 2020

    I always enjoy taking my Elio down to Pep Boys for some warranty work. They often throw in a free air freshener mirror hang tag.

  • Bob65688581 Small by American standards, this car is just right for Europe, and probably China, although I don't really know, there. Upscale small cars don't exist in the US because Americans associate size and luxury, so it will have a tough time in the States... but again Europe is used to such cars. Audi has been making "small, upscale" since forever. As usual, Americans will miss an opportunity. I'll buy one, though!Contrary to your text, the EX30 has nothing whatsoever to do with the XC40 or C40, being built on a dedicated chassis.
  • Tassos Chinese owned Vollvo-Geely must have the best PR department of all automakers. A TINY maker with only 0.5-0.8% market share in the US, it is in the news every day.I have lost count how many different models Volvo has, and it is shocking how FEW of each miserable one it sells in the US market.Approximately, it sells as many units (TOTAL) as is the total number of loser models it offers.
  • ToolGuy Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Sorry)
  • Luke42 When I moved from Virginia to Illinois, the lack of vehicle safety inspections was a big deal to me. I thought it would be a big change.However, nobody drives around in an unsafe car when they have the money to get their car fixed and driving safely.Also, Virginia's inspection regimine only meant that a car was safe to drive one day a year.Having lived with and without automotive safety inspections, my confusion is that they don't really matter that much.What does matter is preventing poverty in your state, and Illinois' generally pro-union political climate does more for automotive safety (by ensuring fair wages for tradespeople) than ticketing poor people for not having enough money to maintain their cars.
  • ToolGuy When you are pulled over for speeding, whether you are given a ticket or not should depend on how attractive you are.Source: My sister 😉