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American EV manufacturer Rivian set to open first Canadian showroom in Metro Vancouver

Rivian Spaces will open at the Amazing Brentwood in Burnaby at the end of July
Space to experience: Rivian Spaces will launch its first Canadian showroom in Burnaby, B.C., on July 28 at Brentwood mall. | Submitted

By the end of the month, Burnaby will be home to Canada’s first Rivian showroom.

The American electric car manufacturer, Rivian, will be opening its first physical space in Canada at the Amazing Brentwood on Friday, July 28 for interested buyers to get a touch and feel of the vehicle before purchase.

The U.S. automaker launched Spaces, a collection of “temporary and permanent retail and experiential centres,” in North America earlier in June, with the first Space in New York City’s Meatpacking District.

“The launch of Rivian Spaces is a key part of our next phase of growth, introducing retail sites as a primary experiential touchpoint and bringing the brand to life through an in-store experience,” said Tony Caravano, senior director of customer engagement at Rivian, in a press release. “By planting roots in key areas across North America, we are building out our brick-and-mortar footprint to support current, future and prospective customers, meeting them where they are and showing up in a way that is authentic to Rivian.”

Rivian, with the launch of their Tesla-like online delivery model, had already set a foot in the Canadian automotive market.

Last fall, Rivian launched in Canada with an office in Yaletown and a service centre in Richmond, which focuses on vehicle service and delivery.

The Burnaby location is the latest to expand Rivian’s presence in the Canadian market and the first-ever physical showroom space for current and future Rivian vehicle owners to experience the product firsthand.

“Rivian Spaces are purposefully designed to be casual and inviting, where anyone who is curious is welcome to come in to learn more about us and our products,” noted Denise Cherry, senior director of design and retail development at Rivian.

Spaces, Cherry said, will allow for people to see the product in all colours and materials, experience it, take a test drive, talk to specialists and understand how to use the electric vehicle in trip planning.

“Spaces are the physical expression of our brand and our mission,” she added.

The Burnaby location will also be the first location to use augmented reality to provide customers with a look at any vehicle configuration they choose, digitally.

“You can put on the goggles and you’ll be able to see the vehicle,” Cherry said. "If you like canyon red, you can see it in canyon red; if you like forest green, whatever it might be, you can start to really experience the vehicles [once you] step inside augmented reality.”

Metro Vancouver, being a highly vibrant, active community, was a great place to set their roots in, Cherry said — and Brentwood mall, as a centrally located, accessible area for most of Metro Vancouver, ticked off all boxes.

Rivian hopes to expand its footprint across North America in the next couple years, with additional Spaces opening in the States.

Although Burnaby is the only Spaces showroom in the company’s immediate expansion plans, the automaker is expecting to launch Rivian in Ontario and Quebec by the end of this year.