Hello all. I took delivery of my R1T in September of last year. I was spending a lot of time in Chicago and didn’t want to wait for the car to get delivered. I also believed that being able to pick it up at the factory would give me the quickest time to get the vehicle. All I did was set factory address as delivery point. I think it worked out to be the fastest way to get the car.
The process is pretty basic and straightforward and I was able to get a plant tour. A buddy of mine drove me down from Chicago to Normal. and we met our tour guide at the front door. First things first. The building is massive. There is an employee parking lot and they use electric buses to shuttle people to the main building. It is a huge complex wits so much stuff going on as they are building cars and doing construction to expand the already giant building.
Before we started the tour we were able to stop and get a coffee at the small coffee shop there. Looks like a lot of the employees and contractors use that as well as there was quite a line.
Then were able to go up the stairs by where all of the offices are, and then walk out on a catwalk over the production line. No photos allowed. The tour guide was very knowledgeable. You are able to see the R1 products being made as well as the EDV vans. While we were there, we probably saw 50 or 60 EDVs roll off the line. We were able to see most of the process though you can’t see anything with the battery assembly and paint. The plant is organized and very clean but it looks like there are several pinch points where lines come together and there were several places were cars were jammed up, waiting for one car to be driven to another spot. All cars get tested for water tightness and are then checked for things like headlight alignment.
As you walk further into the catwalk, you were able to see the welding line where the stampings for the body are put on jigs and then welded by robots. Very impressive process and looks amazing though it is clear there are a lot of small metal parts that are welded together, as opposed to what Tesla is doing with castings. I have been to Subaru and GM factories and the pace at Rivian was reasonable but much slower than other factories I’ve seen. They are still ironing out lots of kinks.
After the tour we went out in front of the building and my truck was parked there. The delivery specialist walked through everything with me and we signed the paperwork. I felt comfortable with the car so the handover was actually quite short and I was able to drive back home. Worth seeing the factory and very nice to see where your car is made
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