Rivian, which makes high-end electrical SUVs and pickups, is opening its first Canadian showroom within the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby.
The transfer by the California EV maker marks a course change from a method that favoured largely on-line contact with prospects, Denise Cherry, senior director of design and retail growth, mentioned.
The buy course of nonetheless gained’t be performed end-to-end within the showrooms, which Rivian calls Spaces. The retailer will give it extra of a presence locally and prospects a greater probability to work together with the product and employees, she mentioned.
“We did want a place to put down roots,” Cherry informed Automotive News Canada.
Scheduled to open July 28, the Burnaby location is one in all 10 deliberate North American places. The first Spaces opened in New York in June.
Up to now, Rivian’s in-person contact with B.C. prospects was restricted to a small former Mini showroom in downtown Vancouver’s stylish Yaletown district, the place “customer engagement” employees shared area with members of its world software-development crew. It additionally has a service centre in suburban Richmond.
But with a few couches and a piece desk, the area proved too cramped as soon as a show mannequin was included.
Rivian selected the not too long ago redeveloped Brentwood procuring centre in Burnaby for its comparatively central location inside Metro Vancouver. The roughly 465-square-metre constructing, steps from the Brentwood SkyTrain speedy transit station, is in an exterior second-floor unit that Cherry likened to 2 stacked glass containers, with first stage for show.
RIVIAN SPACES ARE ‘KEY’
“The launch of Rivian Spaces is a key part of our next phase of growth, introducing retail sites as a primary experiential touchpoint and bringing the brand to life through an in-store experience,” Tony Caravano, senior director of buyer engagement, mentioned in a information launch.
The objective of Rivian’s bricks-and-mortar enlargement, he mentioned, was to help present and future prospects, “meeting them where they are and showing up in a way that is authentic to Rivian.”
Spaces showrooms will enable prospects to buy Rivian-branded merchandise, take check drives and for homeowners to get travel-planning suggestions from employees, all in a relaxed family-friendly environment, mentioned Cherry.
Prospective patrons can use augmented-reality goggles to look at Rivian show fashions, overlay totally different colors and numerous inside choices whereas contained in the car.
Once a purchase order choice is made the gross sales transaction itself nonetheless have to be accomplished on-line, Rivian spokeswoman Miranda Jimenez mentioned.
Rivian joins Tesla, Lucid and VinFast amongst EV startups which have Vancouver-area showrooms.
Rivian at present affords two fashions, the R1T pickup that begins at $109,000 and the R1S SUV at $116,500. Both beginning costs embrace house supply charge of $1,400. Neither car is eligible for presidency EV rebates, however Cherry mentioned the upcoming R2 compact SUV, scheduled to reach in 2026, might qualify.
Cherry mentioned future Canadian places will rely upon numerous standards, together with market demographics and the supply of charging networks. It plans to open service centres in Calgary, Toronto and Montreal by the top of this yr.
The firm didn’t present Canadian gross sales figures since launching right here final yr. At the top of the second quarter, it had delivered 41,838 items in North America since manufacturing started.