Rivian taps ex-Porsche and Apple vet to lead R2, R3 EV platform development

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Rivian (RIVN) is adding an industry vet to its team with the launch of its next-gen electric models coming up. With experience at Apple and Porsche, Jonas Reinke joins Rivian to help launch its new EV platforms, including R2 and R3.

Attracting industry talent ahead of R2 launch

As Rivian looks to expand into new markets, the EV maker is adding industry talent from top-tier companies.

Rivian hired former Mercedes-Benz exec Arnehelm Mittelbach in November as its first plant manager for its new Georgia facility, where R2 will be built.

Mittelbach brings over 20 years of experience from Mercedes, serving as plant manager in East London and South Africa. He was also president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Vans in Charleston, SC, in addition to several roles in Germany.

Less than two weeks later, Rivian brought on former Stellantis North America exec Carlo Materazzo.

Before joining Rivian, Materazzo was VP of manufacturing at Stellantis North America. Rivian’s COO, Frank Klein, described Materazzo’s experience in auto manufacturing as “second to none.”

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Rivian production at its Normal, Ill facility (Source: Rivian)

Rivian adds ex-Apple, Porsche vet for R2 development

Rivian announced it had hired Reinke as VP of product management on Monday. Reinke joins Rivian after serving as Apple’s head of product, mobility and auto services for the past four years.

Before that, he spent over a decade with Porsche, holding several product and digital innovation roles.

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Rivian R1T (Source: Rivian)

After climbing his way to product management lead for Porsche’s digital in-car experience, Reinke jumped to principal product manager before becoming product and innovation manager at Porsche Digital in Silicon Valley.

Rivian’s CEO RJ Scaringe said Reinke’s experience will help “launch new platforms like the R2 and R3.” He will also help improve the existing R1T and R1S electric models.

Scaringe explains the new hire will help “tackle the next wave of product launches.” Rivian’s leader said R2 will be Rivian’s version of the Tesla Model 3.

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Rivian R1S (Source: Rivian)

Rivian’s R2 will start at around $40K to $50K. The first model based on the new platform is expected to be a mid-size electric SUV and will be revealed later this year. However, it isn’t planned to launch until 2026.

The upcoming EV will be built at Rivian’s new $5B Georgia manufacturing plant. Rivian is expected to break ground on the new facility any day, with an official groundbreaking ceremony planned in early 2024. Once the first stage is complete, Rivian aims to build 200,000 EVs annually. By 2030, the EV maker looks to double it.

Electrek’s Take

After outpacing rival EV startups last year in deliveries and production, Rivian looks to keep the momentum going with its next wave of EVs.

Rivian’s R2 will help the brand expand and attract new buyers. The EV maker expects to slash production costs drastically with new tech and methods to improve efficiency.

With industry talent from top-tier companies, Rivian aims to avoid running into hurdles like it did with the flagship R1 models last year.

Rivian delivered over 50K EVs last year, more than double the 24,337 handed over in 2022. The growth comes despite Rivian’s R1T and R1S costing upwards of $80,000. A more affordable model will likely help Rivian expand, like the Model 3 did for Tesla.

Source: Rivian

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