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Rivian opens first service center on the East Coast

Yahoo Finance's Pras Subramanian reports live from Rivian's first, newly opened service center on the East Coast on how the company plans to expand across the U.S. by 2023.

Video Transcript

[AUDIO LOGO]

Rivian has been a colossal disappointment since its 2021 IPO, with the stock down close to 60% from its IPO price. Nevertheless, we find our friend, Pras Subramanian, inside a Rivian service center. Pras, what are you learning?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Hey, Brian. So yeah, you know Rivian sort of trying to ramp up their deliveries, and their customer service, and servicing cars with-- with things like what's behind me. So the Brooklyn Rivian service center, one of 24 in the country that Rivian has to not only service vehicles, but also deliver these cars to certain clients.

And also within that, there's like a waiting area, kind of clubhouse lounge area for people to be there. But yeah, as we ramp up-- as they ramp up deliveries, they've had 8,000 cars produced so far this year. A big part of that is delivering those cars, so these service centers will be a big part of that story.

- Pras, just while we have you here, for Rivian, you know, how does this stack them up against some of the other names, Tesla especially, given the electric vehicle push that we're seeing right now. And customers latching on to that, the demand is ramping up. So how does the service center need to keep pace when you have a Rivian, versus a Tesla, versus a Ford service center, versus GM. The list goes on.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: You know, with a lot of these EV companies, Brad, it's a lot of direct to consumer. They're not-- they're sort of eschewing the dealership model for their own direct-to-consumer ordering on the website. And they'll deliver the car to you, right. So these service centers are sort of fulfillment areas where the trucks come in from the factory, and then they deliver them to the individual clients across the Eastern seaboard here.

So that's a big difference between what traditional automakers are doing, and what Rivians and the Teslas of the world are doing. From a Tesla point of view, they have a lot more showrooms, right. They have a lot more places where they have retail operations, retail presence, and merchandising of the cars. You can walk in, see the car, see the different colors, and order something.

This is a bit more different here. This is more of like, once you actually order the car, and it's here-- you're here, your order is fulfilled. It'll come here, or it'll be delivered to you and you'll have to come here if you want any kind of service done. So it's a very different model.

But I will say, they're opening more like retail hubs, they're calling. Like one in Venice, California, where you walk in, it has like a very kind of like a vibe like a WeWork maybe, like a kind of a cool place to hang out. This is an extension of the brand as to where they want to be as a high end, adventure type of brand. And they're kind of seeking people and clientele who have a similar ethos, if you will.

- Pras, you know who's got the vibe? The Rivian vibe? You. Love those glasses. Just love that look. Just-- you know what, you always impress me, my friend. Always impress me.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Thanks, Brian. I'm melting out here. I'm melting out here.

- Well, you look good while melting. Thanks so much for the update, our own Pras Subramanian out there, outside the Rivian service center. Appreciate it.