A Rivian R1T has been spotted with manufacturer plates in Austria, hinting at the possibility of European parts suppliers aiding the American automaker.
With considerable manufacturing headwinds, which have significantly limited Rivian’s production ramp, some believe Rivian is reaching out for third-party help. With high aspirations of a production overhaul this year and next, along with an all-new vehicle design, this aid could be critical to the automaker’s plans. A Rivian R1T fitted with manufacturer plates has been spotted in Austria, only adding credence to the hypothesis.
The Rivian R1T was spotted by Reddit user u/Max3000Max and subsequently posted to the r/Rivian subreddit.
As evidenced by the bright yellow warning stickers that state the test vehicle is fitted with U.S. break signals, this R1T is clearly a sample coming from Rivian’s operations in America. However, Rivian’s appearance in Austria may not be entirely coincidental, even if a European expansion isn’t exactly right around the corner.
Noted by the Austrian Reddit user that posted the image, “The area around Stuttgart is full of car manufacturers, automotive suppliers, and engineering companies. It’s not unusual to see exotic car mules/prototypes that don’t get sold in Germany/EU.” Further, “The plate being registered in Graz heavily implies that there is a connection to Magna Steyr. They do automotive engineering services but also produce cars for third parties…”
Magna was not immediately available for comment to Teslarati regarding its plans with Rivian. The Canadian car parts supplier is well known in the automotive sector for being a pivotal supplier to Ford and General Motors and as a vehicle manufacturer for Mercedes, Fisker, and other European brands.
For those curious why Rivian could be looking to work with European suppliers, even if they don’t currently plan to expand to Europe imminently, a couple of factors could be attracting the Illinois-based manufacturer. By working with suppliers like Magna, Rivian could free up its production capabilities to produce more units, even if it comes at the expense of per-unit profit. Second, Rivian could be searching for a supplier that could help lower its production costs as it works to achieve profitability by the end of 2025.
Rivian was not immediately available to comment to Teslarati regarding the R1T spotted in Austria.
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