Increasing production capacity means the first public deliveries are now less than a few months away.
Rivian's CEO, RJ Scaringe, recently sent out a tweet that should make customers on the reservation list very happy.
"Supply chain and production are ramping! We just announced production of 4,401 vehicles for Q2 bringing our cumulative total since the start of production to 7,969 - keeping us on track to reach our year-end goals," Scaringe tweeted.
This is good news because it means that production is ramping up, and it now looks likely that the Rivian R1S SUV will begin deliveries imminently.
Like the rest of the automotive industry, Rivian has been battling supply chain issues. Confidence in Rivian was at an all-time low in May 2022 after Ford dumped seven million shares. Rivian also dragged its semiconductor chip supplier to court, claiming it violated the supply contract.
The year-end goals Scaringe refers to include a production target of 25,000 units. That production figure will be split between the R1T, R1S, and Amazon delivery vans. Thus far, the brand has only successfully delivered one model in the R1T pickup. Rivian does not report individual model sales figures, but data from Experian shows 2,045 R1T registrations and zero R1S registrations during the first five months of 2022.
While that may come as a point of concern for the tens of thousands of people who have reserved an R1S - Rivian has more than 90,000 reservations between the two models - the ramp-up in production means that deliveries will get underway soon, with Automotive News reporting that the first public deliveries are expected to begin in August-September.
The first R1S models were delivered to company bosses in December last year, but news on the model subsequently has been rather quiet.
Rivian has been dealing with its fair share of trouble this year, however, trying to negotiate with angry residents over the construction of its second factory, in Georgia, dealing with fires in its Illinois production facility, and then dealing with shareholder lawsuits over massive price bumps that the brand has since reneged on.
Given the increase in output, we'll likely see the first customer deliveries happen shortly. While Rivian claims it can build 150,000 cars annually, it is severely hampered by the ongoing parts and semiconductor chip shortage. Customers aren't going to wait forever, though the R1S doesn't have a direct rival to which potential customers can flock.
The R1T faces stiff competition from the F-150 Lightning and, to a lesser extent, the Hummer EV. The R1S competes in a segment of one.
Tesla offers a possible rival in the Model X, but it's more of an MPV than a serious off-roader. Rivian has shown on multiple occasions that its products are meant for hardcore off-roading, giving the R1S a highly desirable unique selling point.