We'd probably do the same.
Despite some production delays beyond Rivian's control, the R1T all-electric pickup truck is currently in production. Its SUV counterpart, the R1S, is not too far behind. This initial batch of R1Ts is going to those who placed their orders very early and everyone else will have to wait in line. The Normal, Illinois factory can only build so many per week and demand is high. A new factory in Georgia is about to be approved but it won't go online for several more years.
But earlier this week, Rivian announced a series of price changes that's clearly angering buyers. Instead of dropping prices, they've increased. Substantially. And now many of these people are fighting back. A poll on a Rivian subreddit which also happens to be one of the largest Rivian online communities, indicates many are willing to cancel their orders altogether.
Over 3,500 members have responded so far with at least 1,900 votes in favor of canceling. Only 350 said they'll continue with their purchase plan regardless of the increase. Another 110 said they'd prefer a lower-cost option, meaning a Rivian without the pricier dual-motor, which is becoming standard. A total of around 1,300 remain undecided. Rivian claimed to have over 70,000 reservations for both vehicles at the end of last year.
It's still too soon to know whether or not reservations holders will carry through on their threats to cancel. Bear in mind those prices increases, despite having the attractive dual-motor setup as standard, amount to at least a $12,000 increase. Depending on other options, the figure can climb to as much as $20,000 more than people previously budgeted for.
Small price changes are expected yearly but this is something else entirely. Not even Tesla has had such year-to-year price changes. Rivian is blaming these increases on inflation and growing material costs. That may be true, but passing those costs down so quickly to consumers might not be the best idea. Instead, Rivian probably should have opted for a more gradual price change approach.
Some in the Rivian Reddit community believe the carmaker is having difficulties increasing its gross margin as it boosts production output, and is passing that cost down to consumers. The ball is now in Rivian's court as to how it handles customer anger.