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Rivian Plans Local Unveiling for New R2 Model

Rivian Automotive Inc. plans to use its flagship retail showroom in Laguna Beach to unveil its most notable new vehicle line in several years, in early March.

The Irvine-based electric vehicle maker (Nasdaq: RIVN) late last month filed plans with the city of Laguna Beach to use its South Coast Theater event space along Coast Highway, along with a portion of the city-owned Main Beach Park, for the launch of its R2 vehicles.

A “worldwide product launch” for the R2 is planned for March 7, city filings indicate. The half-day event will be open to the public.

Rivian, valued around $15 billion as of last week and the fourth-most valuable public company based in Orange County, confirmed the forthcoming event on its Instagram page last week, saying “get ready to meet R2.”

Affordability Focus

The R2, the company’s second line of products after its R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV, have been touted as more affordable options than its inaugural vehicles.

Rivian currently sells those two existing vehicles with prices starting around $73,000 and $78,000, respectively. It made close to 54,000 vehicles last year, topping prior expectations.

The R2 vehicles, expected to be smaller than the vehicles in Rivian’s existing lineup, could run between $40,000 and $60,000, officials have told analysts in prior earnings calls.

Details on the specific features of the new R2s haven’t been disclosed. Online trade industry publication Autoblog cited a crossover vehicle similar in respects to a Jeep Grand Cherokee, and a pickup truck that would compete with the Ford Ranger, as the most likely vehicles to fall under the R2 line.

Chief Financial Officer Claire McDonough told analysts during the company’s latest earnings call that Rivian aims to start production of the R2 platform in 2025 for the 2026 vehicle year, out of its new production plant in Georgia.

Brand Awareness HQ

Rivian took the wraps off its showroom in Laguna Beach a few months ago, following a multiyear renovation of the historic South Coast Theater.

The showroom is No. 11 in Rivian’s retail portfolio—it counts other locations throughout the U.S.—and it’s the largest at 11,000 square feet.

Expect more headline-making events at the Laguna Beach location, which is roughly 15 miles and a half-hour’s drive from Rivian’s headquarters in Irvine.

City filings indicate that Rivian considers the Laguna Beach spot as “the company’s brand awareness headquarters.”

In addition to showing off its vehicles, the showroom also includes an Equator Coffees shop, a merchandise store featuring a collaboration with locally based Almond Surfboards and a second-floor meeting space.

Rivian spent the last two years converting the historic theater into its flagship retail space while restoring the single-screen theater and placing it on the National Register of Historical Places.

The original 129-seat theater area, ticket booth, lobby, balcony and marquee remain, along with the original theater owners’ apartment, which will be used by Rivian employees.

Chief Executive RJ Scaringe “was really excited about what adaptive reuse could mean for a space like this,” Tony Caravano, Rivian’s senior director of customer engagement, told the Business Journal in December.

Rivian founder Scaringe has a home in the city.

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.
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