Rivian misses 25,000 production target, but not by much

For the fourth quarter, Rivian produced 10,020 vehicles after adding a second shift on an improving parts supply, and delivered 8,054 vehicles. In its third-quarter earnings report, the company said it had a backlog of more than 100,000 preorders for the R1T and R1S, in addition to a multiyear Amazon order for 100,000 vans.

The 2022 production miss capped a difficult year for one of the world’s most promising EV startups, which briefly had a higher market valuation than Ford Motor Co. when the company began trading on the Nasdaq exchange. Rivian’s stock price is down by 87 percent since its November 2021 initial public offering.

Rivian’s market value is now below $15 billion, from a high of well over $100 billion just after its IPO, Reuters reported.

In a letter to employees Tuesday, CEO RJ Scaringe praised the company’s work force for grinding through the setbacks.

“There were many headwinds in 2022,” Scaringe said. “Considering the supply chain issues that caused the plant to close for 20 days and shut down early on 50 days in the last 12 months — and the inclement weather that forced us to close for an additional five days — our team stayed focused and worked through the challenges together.”

Although Rivian did not meet its output goal, it managed to get 25,051 vehicles off the assembly line, Scaringe said. He said that 714 vehicles are still in the process of full completion as they await parts, software validation, wheel alignment, charging and other finishing touches.

Rivian shares slipped 5.9 percent to $17.34 in trading prior to the production announcement, which was made after the market close. In after-hours trading, shares were mostly unchanged.

Baird Equity Research said it had forecast Rivian’s fourth-quarter deliveries at 10,700 vehicles and attributed the miss to supply chain issues. Baird analysis points to a significant uptick in production for 2023 as the factory in Normal continues to ramp.

Like other EV makers, supply chain disruptions have put pressure on Rivian, which also shelved a plan in December to build delivery vans in Europe with Mercedes-Benz, Reuters said Tuesday. Rivian earlier pushed back the production startup of its smaller R2 vehicle family to 2026 at the company’s planned $5 billion plant in Georgia.

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