Automobile

Rivian R1T electric truck ‘way underpriced,’ but room to improve, expert says

The Rivian R1T, one of the first electric pickup trucks on the market, is “way underpriced,” according to a manufacturing expert known for his sometimes blunt assessments of electric vehicles from Tesla Inc. and others.

The R1T also could use some engineering and production changes to reduce its manufacturing cost, according to Sandy Munro, head of Michigan-based Munro & Associates, which tears down vehicles and advises automakers on how to improve them.

Known for his blunt YouTube assessments, Munro, a former Ford manufacturing engineer, says the R1T has “buckets of cost reduction opportunity” — not unusual for a brand-new vehicle from a first-time manufacturer.

But the R1T, which starts at $67,500, “should be selling for $100,000 — it’s way underpriced for what it is and what it does,” says Munro during a walkaround of the dismantled vehicle at his company’s Auburn Hills headquarters.

That is good news for a company that just went public in November and continues to endure teething pains, from delivery snafus to a backlash over poorly timed price increases.

Raising the vehicle’s price tag could still be a challenge.

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