Electric pickup Rivian R1T embarked on the conveyorSeptember 16, 2020
Pre-assembly of the new pickups has been launched in Normal, Illinois.
More than half a dozen automakers have entered the race to bring the modern electric pickup truck to market. Rivian took a significant step towards the finish line when it began building pre-production prototypes of the R1T.
A video posted on YouTube shows partially assembled trucks descending from a conveyor belt in a clean, well-lit factory. While robots are involved in most stages of the manufacturing process, it appears that humans play a significant role in the creation of the R1T. For example, you can see employees inspecting panel gaps, which suggests that the company funded by Amazon and Ford takes build quality seriously.
The R1T doesn’t look like it has changed much since its debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. The biggest changes we see are a redesigned rear bumper, which probably increases the truck’s departure angle, and an emblem on the left side of the tailgate. Even hidden door handles have been preserved.
Rivian noted that it will conduct test trials at the prototype stage in the coming months. Every part of the truck is new, from architecture to window switches, so it is imperative that the components work properly even in harsh conditions. After all, he markets the R1T as a reliable all-round SUV.
Batch production of preliminary prototypes is common in the auto industry, but Rivian’s accomplishments remain remarkable as the company completely overhauled its plant and work was interrupted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which forced it to close all of its facilities earlier. in 2020. The company originally planned to deliver the first R1Ts in December 2020, but announced that deliveries would not begin until June 2021. Motorists who prefer the R1S, an electric SUV built on the same platform as the R1T, will have to wait until August 2021.
The Rivian plant in Normal, Illinois, has its roots in a joint venture between Chrysler and Mitsubishi called Diamond-Star Motors (DSM). It was formed in 1985 when Chrysler owned a small stake in Mitsubishi as a way to circumvent the quotas on the number of Japanese cars that could be imported into the United States.
The first cars built in Normal were the Eagle Talon, Plymouth Laser and the original Mitsubishi Eclipse. Mitsubishi acquired Chrysler’s stake in DSM in 1991 and continued to build cars normally (including the Dodge Stratus Coupe and Outlander Sport) until it closed the plant in 2015. Rivian kept it in 2017.
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