Rivian, the EV startup that went public last year in one of the largest IPOs in U.S. history, has bucked the trend set by Tesla and other EV makers during the first half of the year.
Tesla, the world’s largest EV maker, reported two consecutive quarters of delivery declines stemming from delays in the supply chain and COVID-related lockdowns in Shanghai that stymied production at its Gigafactory there.
Lucid has cut its 2022 production forecast several times this year, now targeting 6,000 to 7,000 vehicles, down from its original plan to build 20,000. U.K.-based Arrival said Thursday that it is slashing its 2022 target from between 400 and 600 vehicles down to just 20.
Meanwhile, Rivian, which set a goal to own more than 10% of the global market eventually, said it has ramped up production so far this year — a mix of the Rivian R1T pickup truck, R1S SUV and the EDV commercial electric vans it is making for Amazon — and reaffirmed its target to deliver 25,000 vehicles in 2022.
However, the Irvine, California-based manufacturer faces the same financial pressures affecting the automotive industry. In July, it began laying off 900 employees — about 6% of its workforce — as part of a restructuring plan.
We’ll be tuning into Rivian’s second-quarter financial results after the market closes Thursday to see how it plans to navigate the industry’s headwinds, including ongoing supply chain issues and production hurdles.
What analysts and TechCrunch will be watching out for
Per data from Yahoo Finance, analysts expect that Rivian generated Q2 2022 revenue of $337.52 million, more than triple the $95 million it reported for the first quarter of the year. Rivian did not begin generating revenue until Q3 2021.
We’ll be tuning in for news on Rivian’s layoffs, which are hitting every department, with one important exception — manufacturing operations at its Normal, Illinois factory.
“We need to be able to continue to grow and scale without additional financing in this macro environment,” CEO RJ Scaringe wrote in an internal email. “To achieve this, we have simplified our product roadmap and focused on where it is most impactful to deploy capital.”
The automaker may provide updates during its quarterly call with analysts Thursday and outline the details of its overall plan to cut costs.
Amazon, Rivian’s largest customer, began in July delivering packages using its EDV commercial electric vans.
The initial rollout includes routes in Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Nashville, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle and St. Louis, and will cover more than 100 cities by the end of the year, according to Amazon. The company is targeting more than 100,000 EV delivery vans on the road by 2030.
We’ll be listening Thursday for any guidance on Rivian’s plans to deliver more vans to Amazon, which owns an 18% stake in the company, as well as any initial findings Rivian has gleaned so far on the van’s performance, safety and durability in different climates and geographies.
We’ll also be looking for an update on Rivian’s new factory near Atlanta, which received Georgia’s largest-ever $1.5 billion incentives package. Its second factory is expected to break ground this summer and begin production in 2024.
Until then, the automaker plans to develop its future R2 platform, as well as enhance the R1 platform that underpins its electric truck and SUV.
Rivian has said that its new lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery pack will launch in its commercial vehicles for Amazon later this year and serve as the standard architecture for R1T pickups and R1S SUVs starting in late 2023.