Rivian may be next EV showroom in Music City

Rivian may be next EV showroom in Music City

2023-06-07T09:35:06-04:00June 7th, 2023|Economy, Energy, Infrastructure, Nashville, Transportation|

Writer: Joshua Andino

2 min read June 2023 — Electric vehicle maker Rivian may be gearing up to open a new showroom at Nashville’s Fifth + Broadway near the city center.

The company, which produces electric trucks and commercial vehicles, will take over a retail space currently occupied by clothing store Travis Austin on the mall’s first floor, reported the Nashville Business Journal

The vehicle manufacturer currently offers two vehicles, the R1T pickup truck and the R1S SUV. The company also provides commercial fleet vehicles in the form of its Electric Delivery Van (EDV) which comes in three models – the EDV-500, EDV-700 and EDV-900.

While the Irvine, California-based company has not made any announcements regarding a new potential Nashville showroom, EV makers have employed showrooms to circumvent traditional, costlier and highly influential car dealerships. Rivian employs a direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales model, popularized by its main competitor Tesla. 

When reached for comment, Miranda Jimenez, communications manager at Rivian, mentioned that the company would be making an announcement over the coming weeks regarding the new location. While Jimenez did not confirm a particular date for the announcement, Rivian CFO Claire McDonough will participate in a fireside chat as part of the Deutsche Bank Global Auto Industry Conference on June 15.

Rivian’s move to Fifth + Broadway comes on the heels of Swedish EV-maker Polestar’s own move into Music City. Polestar filed for a permit in March for a retail space at the Gulch at 1222 Demonbreun St. Tesla, for its part, currently hosts a showroom in Brentwood and is aiming to open a flagship facility in Franklin this year.

Rather than employ dealerships or stores, the showrooms allow potential customers to examine the vehicles and ask direct questions to company employees. Customers can buy a vehicle online directly from Rivian. Should any currently existing Rivian customers look to service their vehicle, they can do so at two service centers located at 6936 Appling Farms Pkwy in Memphis and 305 5th Ave N, in Franklin, just outside of Nashville. 

The DTC sales model, which was spearheaded by Tesla and has been met with resistance, aims to reduce the cost of EVs and helps generate more sales and greater profitability by removing the car dealerships’ sales process — an imperative for Rivian, which has continued to burn billions in cash and navigate supply chain disruptions that have seen its share price essentially collapse from a $172.00 end-of-day high in November 2021 to a $12.00 low in April 2023. The company generated $661 million in revenue from the Q1 2023 and a $1.35 billion loss, with 7,946 vehicle deliveries and a remaining $12 billion in cash and cash equivalents.

While Rivian produces its vehicles at its plant in Normal, Illinois, Nashville — and Tennessee more broadly, present an opportunity for the company to boost sales in an EV-friendly market. Tennessee has seen $16.2 billion in EV-related capital investments and four original equipment manufacturers (OEM) located in the state. In Tennessee, there are 16,300 EVs registered as of mid-2022, with over 200,000 EVs anticipated to be on state roads by 2028.

Image via Rivian

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