Rivian walks back price increases after customer complaints

Rivian R1T
Photo courtesy of Rivian

Citing rising component and materials costs, Rivian raised prices for its two electric vehicles earlier this week. The price hike impacts existing order holders and new customers alike, which didn't go over so well, as you might imagine. Today, the company walked that decision back, after facing complaints and seeing canceled orders from angry customers.

Rivian R1T and R1S Photo courtesy of Rivian

Rivian raised its prices by 17 percent and 20 percent for the R1T pickup and R1S SUV, respectively. Almost immediately, the move caused a stir, with customers and half the internet lobbing criticism and complaints at the automaker. Now, though, it seems the company is ready to make amends. In a letter sent to customers, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe noted that prices for preorders placed before March 1 will roll back to the original price, and noted that anyone who canceled their order can place a new one and keep their place in line, along with their original vehicle configuration. Scaringe says that going forward, the company's dual-motor and standard battery pack offerings are in place to give buyers a more affordable alternative to the quad-motor, extended-range vehicles it sells.

New photos show Rivian R1S on, off the production lineautomotivemap.com

In his letter, Scaringe apologizes for the change. He explains that the move broke the trust Rivian has with its customers and notes that the company didn't handle communication of the changes well. He said that components from semiconductors to sheetmetal are all more expensive, and apologizes for applying the price increases to all future orders, regardless of when they were placed.

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VW purchased the rights to the iconic Scout name and plans to make new EVs under the brand.

Volkswagen

Automakers bring back names and brands from the past all the time, but it's not every day that a major company purchases a brand name specifically for the purpose of reviving it. That's exactly what Volkswagen just did with Scout, the name of an ultra-popular off-road SUV that was built by International Harvester in the 1960s and 1970s.

As for the types of vehicles we'll see from the brand, we currently only have the renders to go on. The pickup truck and SUV both feature throwback styling that is reminiscent of the original Scout shapes. Beefy off-road tires and lifted suspension are the only other clues available in the drawings.

Volkswagen has its own EVs, and its other brands like Audi and Porsche have made significant progress with electric vehicles as well. That said, VW doesn't really have a solid off-road option from any of its brands at the moment, so the Scout purchase opens doors for the automaker in that arena.

The announcement sounds exciting, but we've still got plenty of time to wait before there's a Scout-branded EV on the roads. Volkswagen said the plan is to release vehicles by 2026, but it won't be sitting idle between now and then. The VW ID.4 is still very fresh and the automaker says it will launch a total of 25 new EVs in the U.S. by 2030.

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First-year Ford F-150 Lightning production numbers doubled
Ford

Ford has begun serial production of the new F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck, marking what could be one of the most important days in recent automotive history. The first trucks rolled off the assembly line at Ford's Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan today, so America's best-selling truck has finally gone electric. Ford wants to sell two million EVs per year by 2026 and have half of its global sales volume to be electric by 2030.

Ford F-150 LightningPast meets future: Ford's new electric pickup will be the F-150 Lightningautomotivemap.com

Ford has seen extreme demand for the trucks, with 200,000 reservations since the books opened. To deliver, the automaker plans to increase production to an annual rate of 150,000 units by next year, which involved huge investments in the Rouge Center and created hundreds of jobs. Ford's total investment for the F-150 Lightning crests $1 billion across Michigan alone, and has created 1,700 jobs across various facilities in the state.

Ford F-150 LightningThe first production trucks left the factory today.
Ford Motor Company

Though the Lightning starts around $40,000, the most mainstream models will cost much more than that. The F-150 Lightning Pro, while affordable, is a stripped-down truck intended for commercial buyers. It's still a forward-looking electric truck with amazing capabilities, but it lacks much of the creature comforts and features that everyday drivers expect. Higher trims get the latest driver assistance features, including BlueCruise, which is Ford's semi-autonomous hands-free driving assistant. A 12-inch touchscreen is standard, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and more.

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