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Drew Dowdell

Rivian To Try Out Subscription Model

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Rivian says it is interested in pursuing a subscription model as one of the ways you can get into a Rivian truck or SUV.  Subscription programs include all maintenance and insurance requirements in a single payment.  Rivian sees potential for customers who want to use one vehicle for daily commuting and another vehicle for weekend jaunts. Traditionally, the subscription model has been geared towards the affluent with brands such as Cadillac, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and Lincoln. The only mid-price brand to try subscriptions in the U.S. has been Ford.

Aside from the subscription option, customers will also be able to purchase directly from the company. Like Tesla, Rivian is eschewing the traditional dealership model and doing direct sales only. How Rivian will run the same gauntlet that Tesla did with state dealership associations is something that is still a mystery. 

Rivian has received large investments from outside firms such as Amazon, Ford, Cox Automotive, and others. Amazon recently announced that they placed an order for 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian


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Of course; Rivian isn’t remotely a mid-priced brand.

Has any brand reported much success with these subscription programs? Sounds like it certainly would have some takers, but I haven’t heard any results. 

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2 minutes ago, balthazar said:

Of course; Rivian isn’t remotely a mid-priced brand.

Has any brand reported much success with these subscription programs? Sounds like it certainly would have some takers, but I haven’t heard any results. 

I wouldn't have called any of them successful.  Ford dumped their Ford/Lincoln subscription subsidiary on a California company called Fair. Cadillac Book has had at least one reboot with a long shutdown. Volvo's program had substantial teething problems when first started up.  Haven't heard anything good or bad or... at all... about Benz's unless you consider Car2go, but that is more like car sharing than car subscription. Car2Go just shut down in 4 major markets. 

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Car2Go is now merged with BMW, heavily used here in Seattle.

Wanted and tried to get into the private event for Rivian where they showed off their new Blue Rivian R1T. I got an email on Sunday after the Friday event saying they were sorry. Hopping to still get to one of these and test fit myself in them. I hope this works for them as I think this would be a great way for folks to test and try out a large size EV.

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3 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Car2Go is now merged with BMW, heavily used here in Seattle.

Wanted and tried to get into the private event for Rivian where they showed off their new Blue Rivian R1T. I got an email on Sunday after the Friday event saying they were sorry. Hopping to still get to one of these and test fit myself in them. I hope this works for them as I think this would be a great way for folks to test and try out a large size EV.

Yeah, but I'm still unsure of if they mean Subscription as in a really fancy lease that you can opt out of at any time.... or car sharing like Car2Go.  They're two different beasts. 

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26 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Yeah, but I'm still unsure of if they mean Subscription as in a really fancy lease that you can opt out of at any time.... or car sharing like Car2Go.  They're two different beasts. 

Got it, that is very true, if they go Car2Go, that might work for people wanting to test out an EV. Yet a Lease for 1yr or 2yr where you can flip back n forth between the R1T and R1S would also be nice so that you can see what works best for you.

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Yep, Car2Go is big on the whole West Coast. They are available in Seattle, Portland, San Fran. and are pretty big in LA and San Diego. We had a partnership for our Blink charging stations with Car2Go when I was with Car Charging Group/Blink Network.

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Until they come up with a better model, I don't think subscription programs will be successful for automobiles. We'll see how Rivian handles it, will be interesting to see.

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16 minutes ago, USA-1 Vortec 6.2 said:

Until they come up with a better model, I don't think subscription programs will be successful for automobiles. We'll see how Rivian handles it, will be interesting to see.

Why would anyone subscribe a car when leasing has been proven for at least the past three decades?

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24 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

Why would anyone subscribe a car when leasing has been proven for at least the past three decades?

Subscriptions are different from an Auto Lease. You can switch cars to try a different one with a Subscription, but there are extra fees involved to do so which gets pretty expensive, hence the reason the Subscription model hasn't taken off. 

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It won't work.

The only way subscription could work is for drivers there are borderline un-insurable.  People could pay anywhere from $500-4000 a year on car insurance.  If you are a high risk driver that can only get a $300 a month rate for insurance, then maybe a subscription makes sense.  But even then I am not sure it does.

Subscription only works to a ride share service.  Like if Uber offered unlimited rides for $300 a month, people would sign up for that.  And that business model for Uber only works with an autonomous car when there is no labor cost involved.

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