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Tuesday, 02 August 2022 10:15

Rivian Expands Service Department Despite Layoffs

Written by William Johnson, Teslarati

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Six new Rivian service locations will open by the end of this year and the company is continuing to hire service staff, despite layoffs in other departments.

In July, Rivian announced it would be cutting staff by 6%, an announcement that could be seen as a threat to Rivian’s goal of producing 25,000 vehicles this year. However, Rivian has continued to hire both manufacturing staff and service workers to keep up with demand, leaving both departments out of the layoffs affecting the rest of the company.

 

With 90,000 orders for the Rivian R1S and R1T and a 100,000-van order from Amazon, when Rivian completes these orders, there will be close to a quarter of a million Rivian products on the road, requiring maintenance.

 

Currently, this is done at one of Rivian’s 21 service locations in the U.S., and six more are expected to join this group by the end of the year to keep up with service demand, Automotive News reported.

 

The issue of keeping up with service requests is not unique to Rivian. Legacy automakers have dealerships spread throughout the country to help meet the demands of consumers; however, because new EV startups---including Rivian---have chosen to bypass the dealership model and instead opt for direct-to-consumer, they now must work to construct their service network.

 

Since demand for service can grow exponentially faster than supply, Tesla in particular has grappled with the issue for years. Rivian has an opportunity to address the issue before becoming mainstream.

 

Rivian already employs many of the same tools as Tesla in its efforts of service; mobile service, wireless software service and branded service stations are already in use. But they have other options as well, and perhaps some lessons can be learned from the legacy automakers.

 

One of the best things Rivian could do to tackle service requests around the country is to allow third-party repair. While the term brings shivers to the likes of Tesla, Apple and John Deere executives, it has shown to be remarkably successful at...


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