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Rivian's production dips amid wave of cost-cutting measures

Zachary Hansen, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Business News

Electric vehicle maker Rivian — which recently paused its plans to build a $5 billion Georgia factory — announced its first quarter manufacturing numbers, which fell short of analysts’ expectations.

The California-based automaker produced 13,980 vehicles during the first three months of 2024, a 49% increase from a year ago but a sharp decline from more recent quarters. It roughly matches the company’s production figures from last year’s second quarter and is a 20% drop from the last three months of 2023.

While Rivian’s press release said the manufacturing number was “in line” with expectations, Wall Street was not impressed. Analysts polled by Visible Alpha expected production to be closer to 14,250 units, an expected dip while Rivian transitions its existing Illinois manufacturing plant to new suppliers to cut costs and improve efficiencies.

Rivian also delivered 13,588 vehicles during this year’s first quarter, continuing a backslide that began late last year. While it’s a 71% increase from 2023′s first quarter, it’s a 3% decrease from the prior three months.

The slump in deliveries comes amid growing concern in the automobile industry about consumer hesitancy about switching to EVs. Overall, EV sales grew during 2023 and hit milestones, but adoption lagged industry predictions.

Rivian stock closed at $10.51 per share, down about 5%.

 

Despite steadily increasing production over the past two years, Rivian forecast that production will be flat this year as it shifts its focus to various cost-cutting measures. Rivian reaffirmed Tuesday it will produce 57,000 EVs this year.

One of the largest short-term costs that was cut was the company’s manufacturing expansion in Georgia, halting construction on its planned factory in southern Morgan and Walton counties.

The decision saves Rivian more than $2.2 billion at a critical time for the upstart, whose leaders aim to stop bleeding cash and turn a profit by the end of 2024. The company finished the year with $7.9 billion in cash and cash equivalents.

Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe said he remains committed to building the factory along I-20 an hour east of downtown Atlanta, stressing it remains critical to the EV maker’s future. A timeline to begin vertical construction has not been released.

Rivian said it will release its first quarter financial results May 7 before holding a call with investors.


©2024 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Visit at ajc.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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