- Kjell Gruner, former CEO of Porsche Cars North America, is reportedly joining electric vehicle start-up Rivian in an undisclosed role.
- Gruner left Porsche USA recently after leading the company’s American business for less than three years.
- During his time at Porsche, Gruner navigated the challenges posed by the pandemic and set the brand on track to achieve a sales record this year, with dealers expected to sell 80,000 units in 2023.
- Gruner previously held positions at Porsche AG as vice president of marketing and at Mercedes-Benz Cars as director of strategy.
- While he is unlikely to replace Rivian’s founder and CEO, RJ Scaringe, Gruner’s appointment would bring prestige to the American EV maker.
- Rivian currently sells the R1T all-electric pickup and R1S zero-emissions SUV, both positioned in the higher end of the market.
- Gruner’s experience in selling high-end products is expected to benefit Rivian’s brand image.
- Rivian is investing heavily as it works on launching the new R2 vehicle platform and building a second assembly facility near Atlanta.
- The company reported a loss of $1.35 billion in the first quarter of 2023, with revenue amounting to $661 million.
Kjell Gruner, the former CEO of Porsche Cars North America, will be joining Rivian, an electric vehicle start-up, in an undisclosed role. This information comes from Automotive News Europe, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Gruner recently left Porsche USA after leading the German sports car maker’s American business for less than three years. During his tenure, he guided the company through the challenges posed by the pandemic and set it on track to achieve a sales record this year, with dealers projected to sell around 80,000 units in 2023, an increase of nearly 15 percent compared to 2022.
Before his role as CEO of Porsche USA, Gruner served as Porsche AG’s vice president of marketing from 2010. Prior to that, he held the position of director of strategy at Mercedes-Benz Cars.
While it is unlikely Gruner will replace Rivian’s founder and CEO, RJ Scaringe, his appointment would bring prestige to the American EV maker. Rivian currently sells the R1T all-electric pickup and R1S zero-emissions SUV, both positioned in the upper end of the market with starting prices above $70,000.
The addition of a seasoned automotive veteran with experience in selling high-end products is expected to benefit Rivian’s brand image. The company is currently working on launching the new R2 vehicle platform and building a second assembly facility near Atlanta to complement its existing plant in Normal, Illinois.
Rivian reported a loss of $1.35 billion in the first quarter of this year, while revenue amounted to $661 million. The company is investing significant resources as it continues to develop its electric vehicles and expand its production capabilities.
Kjell Gruner’s appointment as a top executive at Rivian can have several potential impacts on the company:
- Industry Experience and Expertise: Gruner’s extensive automotive experience, particularly with Porsche and Mercedes-Benz, brings valuable industry knowledge and expertise to Rivian. His insights can help Rivian navigate the competitive electric vehicle market, refine its strategies, and make informed decisions.
- Brand Prestige and Credibility: Gruner’s association with iconic brands like Porsche adds prestige and credibility to Rivian. His presence can enhance Rivian’s reputation as a serious player in the EV industry and attract attention from potential customers, investors, and partners.
- Sales and Marketing Advancements: Gruner’s background in marketing and sales can contribute to Rivian’s efforts to expand its customer base and increase sales. His understanding of selling high-end products and his experience in positioning brands in the market can help Rivian effectively market its vehicles and differentiate itself from competitors.
- Strategic Direction: As Rivian aims to launch new vehicle platforms and expand production facilities, Gruner’s strategic insights can be valuable in setting the company’s direction and growth plans. His experience in leading Porsche’s American business through challenges, such as the pandemic, can provide valuable guidance to Rivian’s leadership team.
Investor Confidence: Rivian has been burning through significant amounts of capital as it develops and brings its electric vehicles to market. The addition of an experienced executive like Gruner may instil confidence in investors and stakeholders, demonstrating Rivian’s commitment to building a successful and sustainable business.
Gruner’s appointment can have a positive impact on Rivian, bringing valuable industry knowledge, brand prestige, sales and marketing expertise, strategic guidance, and potential investor confidence.