What Business is Rivian In?
By May 2020, Rivian Automotive (Rivian), a new electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturer in the United States, had become a darling of the new battery electric vehicle (EV) market in North America. Rivian had not yet released any products, yet it had customers signed up and waiting in three distinctly different market segments. First 10,000 customers had deposited US$1,000 each for one of Rivian's two electric adventure vehicles. Second, the Ford Motor Company, a Rivian shareholder, had made a commitment to purchase Rivian's advanced electric skateboard powertrain, positioning Rivian as an EV component wholesaler. Finally Amazon.com Inc., also a Rivian shareholder, had pre-ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans. With three different markets, three different sets of customers, and three different commercialization challenges, had Rivian bitten off more than it could chew? Daniel Doiron is affiliated with University of New Brunswick Saint John.