On June 26, a YouTube video by Volter Media circulated with Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe behind the camera. The three-minute clip goes through the Rivian R1T’s Camp Kitchen that has apparently gone from prototype to production with the lead engineer Rachel performing the walkthrough.
The Camp Kitchen slides out of the Rivian’s passthrough tunnel between the truck bed and the cab on a rolling shuttle. Rachel demonstrates how to set up the innovative modular gear, from the induction cooktop to the sink and its freshwater tank to the integrated storage drawers on the back of each module, including titanium dishes and cookware, not to mention a manual coffee grinder and coffeemaker.
Each module can be unlatched from the gear tunnel shuttle and lifted off by a single person for storage.
For ‘glampers’ and carbon-neutral eco-conscious campers, the Camp Kitchen could certainly spark interest, powered solely by the vehicle’s onboard battery. The Camp Kitchen is an accessory that can be added to a factory order at Rivian, but it’s priced at a premium. For the kitchen, the gear shuttle, and the included dishes and gadgets, it will run buyers an additional $5,000.
Is premium, functional gear what buyers want?
Rivian makes no apologies for their high-end gear on the top-tier electric truck slated to begin deliveries next month. Among their options is a three-person tent that pops up on top of the truck ($2,650 extra) as well as a $600 off-road recovery kit. This pickup truck is appealing to the more premium or luxury vehicle buyer, but are the gear add-ons an attraction for shoppers?
It tends to appear so. Although the Camp Kitchen is bound to be a niche item that likely will be fitted in a select few buyers’ vehicles, it’s precisely the type of equipment that makes the news. SEMA has reported that overlanding – and the accessories that go along with the off-road adventuring – are growing in popularity. On average, truck and SUV owners purchase around $2,500 to personalize their mass-market vehicles, so Rivian’s Camp Kitchen isn’t far off base for high-end buyers.
Niche-specific gear performs a task that other accessories cannot. By equipping a vehicle with something so unique that it draws attention – just like the Camp Kitchen has – it brings in shoppers to explore it further. No matter where in the sales funnel those shoppers may be, they’re visiting either the virtual or in-person showroom to learn more.
It sells vehicles, gear notwithstanding
Dealerships can draw in interested shoppers that want to see innovations for both factory-installed and dealer-installed options. It’s unlikely that even 5% of Rivian’s buyers will purchase the Camp Kitchen, but it’s started the process of developing an emotional reaction and bond with the shopper. The same happens for both the kitchen modules in this model or an overland-equipped Silverado at a Chevrolet dealership.
It’s also the largest benefit that results from manufacturers developing models like the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat or the Ford F-150 Raptor – the outrageous capabilities entice a shopper to learn more and, in most cases, decide on a more traditional and practical trim level instead-but from the same dealer.
Retailers can take cues from Rivian’s gear. Create a buzz at your store by either ordering a unique trim level or model or create your own by adding on a plethora of accessories, then spread the news on social media to stir up some attention.
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