Luxury EV startup plans for AutoMobility LA debut

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Scaringe: "The world of the future, it is not a world of gray, white pods." Photo credit: JENNIFER VUONG

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Rivian Automotive, a Detroit MP, ahead of electric cars, plans to introduce its first electric electric off-road vehicles at AutoMobility LA in November.

"We are launching a vehicle that has to deliver a lot of technology: electrification, connectivity, self-direction," said Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe on Tuesday. "A brand that can transcend the shifts of ownership and steering wheels."

Details about the vehicles, a cross-over and a pick-up that share a common platform are scarce, fitting for a company that has spent years in stealth mode.

But Scaringe outlined a product strategy that focuses on robust premium vehicles that compete with the likes of Land Rover's Range Rover line or GMC's Yukon. The debuts in Los Angeles will start the company's introduction, followed by first deposits on vehicles that will be removed from the production line by 2020.

Rivian is a comparison to drawing luxury EV startups launched in recent years, including Faraday Future and Byton – not to mention Tesla Inc., a company that Scaringe speaks with admiration.

"They have made electric cars cool," said Scaringe.

But he distanced Rivian from the strategies of other EV makers, noting the important work the company has done in tailoring its pitch to consumers interested in the premium "adventure" sector.

"The core of these brands does not go together with," Would you like to put your children in and go to the beach? "" Scaringe said.

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The company, launched in 2009 during the US economic downturn, has undergone a series of iterations before it has identified its current strategy. It raised nearly half a billion dollars for R & D and production, including buying and renovating a 2.6 million square meter former Mitsubishi Motors Corp. assembly plant in Normal, Ill.

And the company hired a whole series of top managers for the Jeep, McLaren brand and other car manufacturers of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Scaringe said that the introduction of Plymouth, Mich., Sets the tone for his future.

"The world of the future, it's not a world of gray, white pods," Scaringe said. "We have to have unbelief there" with Rivian's product range.

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