Chase Auto forged its first direct-to-consumer private label automaker partnership with Rivian Automotive Inc., both companies said last week. The program is slated to launch early this year, ahead of expected June deliveries of Rivian's all-electric R1T pickup.
Chase's digital capabilities drew the battery-electric automaker to the bank, which strives alongside the traditional automotive industry to create a fully online purchase experience, said Jagdeep Dayal, head of partnerships for Chase Auto. Rivian was in talks with several of Chase's competitors leading up to its U.S. launch, he said.
"They choose us for the capabilities we have as a captive and, quite frankly, the digital capabilities that we will be able to bring to bear in this fully digital environment," Dayal said.
Established in 2009, Rivian has yet to sell a vehicle. The company has raised about $6 billion from backers, including Ford Motor Co. and Amazon. It plans to begin production of its first two vehicles — a pickup and a sport-utility vehicle — this year. The R1T pickup is priced around $67,500, before tax incentives. The company also is under contract to build 100,000 electric delivery vans for Amazon.
Rivian declined to comment for this article.
Prior to the Chase relationship, Rivian customers made cash payments online to preorder vehicles. Payments made ahead of time to secure a vehicle slot will be applied to the total transaction, Chase said, but don't have to be considered as a loan down payment. Any potential discounts offered would be at the automaker's discretion.
The company reportedly has tens of thousands of vehicle reservations, some of which go back 18 months to two years.