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Rivian buyers are canceling at alarming rates after price increases

A poll shows that Rivian buyers are canceling their reservations at an alarming rate after significant price increases for the R1T electric pickup truck and R1S electric SUV.

(Update: Rivian has backtracked on the price hikes)

As we reported yesterday, Rivian announced significant price increases across its lineup that are resulting in some configurations going up by more than $12,000, and some by as much as $20,000 – these price increases also apply to people who had reservations for years, and they are not happy.

Forums and social media are full of Rivian reservation holders who are saying that they are canceling their orders because they are either don’t want to pay the increase, or because they feel cheated by the company. Here’s a list of the upgrades changes compiled by facebook user Shane Jansen

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However, it’s hard to know how representative these comments are of the overall reservation holder base.

A poll on the Rivian subreddit, one of the biggest communities of Rivian fans, gives us a better idea of the pulse of the reservation holders, and it shows a high cancelation rate:

Out of over 3,000 respondents, the majority is canceling their orders with still a significant part of reservation holders being undecided. At the end of last year, Rivian disclosed having over 70,000 reservations for the R1T and R1S.

Rivan blamed the price increases on inflation and costs of materials, but many frustrated reservation holders noted that if that was the case, the price increase would have been smaller and more gradual. Instead, many suspect that Rivian is having issues getting its gross margin up as it ramps up production and is passing the cost on to its customers.

Here’s our own poll for Rivian reservation holders:

Electrek’s Take

I am pretty sure that I’m going myself to cancel my reservation of four years. While I agree that it is a frustrating situation for reservation holders, it is likely the only way for Rivian to survive.

Even if most reservation holders cancel, Rivian is likely still going to have a good ~10,000 people willing to buy the early models with the price increases, which should be enough to get them to higher volume production and better costs. In turn, this should allow them to get to the lower-cost versions of the R1T and R1S in 2023-24, which would reach a wider customer base.

At that point, the company should be in a better situation, but in the meantime, they did burn a big part of their fanbase.

It’s important to note that similar things happen with Tesla canceling the cheaper versions of the Model S back in 2013, as they did the same thing with the Model 3.

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