Rivian Community Hubs
5 min Read – Remember that time you went to the car dealership, hung out, bonded with your salesmen and came away energized? OF COURSE NOT! Buying cars over the last couple of decades is better categorized as adversarial. It was more akin to preparing to do battle, when shopping for a car. Fortunately, the dealership model has gradually evolved to a slightly more customer friendly experience. An expensive purchase on a product you’ll likely use everyday for 10 years, should be memorable for all the right reasons. This is where Rivian comes in. Can Rivian Community Hubs actually make car shopping fun? The redesigned dealership model, from neophyte Rivian, might just revolutionize car shopping..
And Rivian is…
Rivian is a new American EV car company. They recently delivered their first generation of Powerful, amenity laden pickup Trucks (R1T) and SUV’s (R1S) to its customers. Rivian seeks to capture the “luxury adventure market” …which is perhaps a niche born of Rivian’s marketing team. Although, with prices starting at $67,500 and moving north of $80,000, the luxury market is likely the right target. I’ve been following Rivian since they introduced their R1T prototype, a few years back. When they announced the grand opening of the Community Hub, I was among the earlier visitors.
The Hub – Gathering Spot for the Curious & like Minded
At first blush Rivian’s Community Hub is a pleasing amalgamation of coffee shop, library, adventure studio & local community gathering center. The clean, modern structure offers inviting gathering space. Comfortable seating indoors and picnic tables outside encourage visitors to linger awhile; to enjoy the surroundings. Gone are the rows upon rows of cars and sales cubicles designed to “close the deal.” With exactly ONE car on display, the facility is more of a cultural oasis for like minded individuals, than a car dealership.
Interesting side note: The Rivian hub was at one time the home of author Ray Bradbury
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The emphasis at the Community Hub seems to be equal parts:
- HOW does an electric truck support an eco-friendly lifestyle?
- WHAT can I do to playfully interact more with nature & my new R1T or R1S?
- Who else can I bond with within the community? Are these my peeps?
Rivian Community Hub – Low Key Staff
Yes, there are knowledgeable staff prepared to answer any questions you might have regarding the nuts & bolts of Rivian’s EV’s (more like software & batteries).
And the Rivian truck is certainly both rugged & laden with high end interior and exterior features (check out this video on Rivians tank mode) Yet there is a lot less time spent pitching the cool things the truck can do.
Instead, the staff members we engaged were quick to circle back to the Ecco benefits of replacing as many gas trucks with EV’s in the coming years. They were also quick to direct you to the library or gathering areas to explore.
The library is filled with volumes of books on nature, travel and adventure. The inviting space is an ideal spot to sit down with a cup of coffee, browse and gather inspiration for your next adventure. It’s also intended as a gathering place Fellow adventurers and eventual Rivian owners can share a sense of community with other like minded individuals.
The Gathering Room
The Gathering Room seems to serve a few purposes:
First, it gives Rivian a chance to highlight where it gathers inspiration for the design of their EV’s; much of which comes from nature
Second, the gathering room is used for special events. The events are yet another opportunity for the curious & like minded to interact. For example, Rivian recently hosted a free event, centered on teaching organic gardening. While not directly related to their vehicles, organic gardening is a nod to the broader notion of sustainable living.
Worth a Visit
Whether you’re an EV, Truck or SUV fan it’s still worth a visit to Rivian’s Community Hub just to take in the atmosphere. There are, after all, a lot of electric vehicles coming out this year. That said, I do appreciate the absence of being hard sold. Also, the notion that cars are an integral part of the greater picture probably is worthy of consideration.
Finally, selecting a car that leaves open the possibility of more amusement is perhaps a better way of looking at the next car choice.
While it’s not lost on me that a sales process is happening, it’s really refreshing enough that I’m OK with it!