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Rivian Bucks Trend with Production Increase

by | November 8, 2023

EV startup Rivian told investors Tuesday it plans to build more of its all-electric pickups and SUVs than previously forecast. The move is counter to production cuts by other nascent makers, like Lucid, as well as mainstream car companies, such as Ford and General Motors.

Rivian robot production line

Rivian officials said the company will produce about 2,000 more vehicles this year than forecast earlier.

 

Rivian’s reveling in its rebel role, revealing plans to increase production of its battery-electric trucks and sport utility vehicles through the end of the year as other EV producers are doing just the opposite.

The new forecast for an extra 2,000 vehicles, bringing the new expected total to 54,000 vehicles for 2023, must be a pleasant surprise for investors in the startup, who have seen competitors announce plans to scale back production in recent weeks.

RJ Scaringe talking

CEO RJ Scaringe expressed concern about a shortfall in EV market if other makers slow production.

Ford, General Motors, Lucid and others are retrenching as consumer concerns about high interest rates dampen their enthusiasm for new vehicles. In fact, even the EV king, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, expressed a bit of anxiousness about the situation as he’s putting on his usual year-end push to meet his full-year deliveries prediction of 1.8 million vehicles globally.

“I’m actually surprised to be honest at how much we’ve seen others pull back,” Rivian Chief Executive RJ Scaringe told Reuters. “I think it’s going to create, unfortunately, somewhat of a vacuum of products in the market.”

Adjusting to the market

Rivian, which has hit some bumps in the road in the past 18 months, appears to have implemented a course correction that has it on the path to success — at least in the short term. In addition to the bump in production, the company issued other updated guidance.

Rivian quarterly production

The EV maker’s progress on cost management netted positive change, allowing it to improve its adjusted EBITDA guidance to a loss of $4 billion. “We are also lowering our capital expenditures guidance to” $1.1 billion.

Part of the reason for the improved forecasts stems from its ongoing cost-cutting measures. Officials said the lower costs came from better systems and components as well as haggling for improved pricing from suppliers.

Rivian’s third-quarter revenue of $1.34 billion met Wall Street estimates, and it cut down its quarterly loss compared to the year-ago period: $1.44 billion from $1.77 billion. The company still has plenty of cash, $7.94 billion at the end of the quarter. That number was $9.26 billion at the end of Q2.

Rivian quarterly deliveries

Another big change for Rivian was the announcement it plans to end its exclusive deal with Amazon. The pair are linked up where the online shopping behemoth invested into the upstart EV maker and ordered 100,000 battery-electric delivery vans.

Although Rivian will look to work with others, it reinforced it still plans to build the 100,000 vans for Amazon.

“Amazon now has over 10,000 EDVs in its fleet that have delivered over 260 million packages to customers in more than 1,800 cities and regions across the U.S.,” the company told shareholders. “Earlier this year, Amazon also rolled out its first EDVs in Germany.”

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