E-car manufacturer: Rivian suffers from material shortages and lowers production target

Rear of the Rivian R1T

The US automaker will produce fewer than the planned 1200 vehicles in 2021.

(Foto: BRYAN DERBALLA/The New York Time)

San Francisco The US electric car manufacturer Rivian, which was valued at just under twelve billion US dollars when it went public a few weeks ago, is experiencing a major setback. Due to ongoing material shortages, the group will probably build a few hundred fewer cars this year instead of the planned 1200 electric pick-ups, the group announced when it presented the results for the third quarter on Thursday after the US stock market closed.

In a conference call with analysts, CEO Robert Scaringe said that ramping up production was “more difficult than expected”. Rivian is currently suffering from delivery bottlenecks for some components, including semiconductors. “With some smaller suppliers, however, it is also about the lack of staff to fill shifts.” Overall, however, these are problems that can be solved at short notice.

Scaringe, who founded Rivian in 2009, had placed the company on the stock exchange in November. At that time, the group had just delivered 42 vehicles. Within a few days, the value had multiplied to 134 billion euros – with which Rivian temporarily overtook its German competitor VW, which produced almost nine million vehicles in 2020.

But Scaringe has set itself ambitious goals: The production target for the current main location in the US state of Illinois is to be increased from 150,000 to 200,000 vehicles. At the same time, the group announced the construction of a new factory in Atlanta, Georgia, including battery cell production, in which around 400,000 cars per year will be produced in a few years. The group plans to invest around five billion US dollars in the new location.

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The low sales figures combined with high investments also made themselves felt in the quarterly results. Rivian posted a loss for the period of 1.2 billion US dollars, with sales amounting to just one million US dollars. However, such figures are not unusual in the still relatively young e-car industry: Even competitor Tesla only achieved an annual profit for the first time 17 years after the company was founded.

Share ten percent in the red

Scaringe has high hopes for a major order from the US mail order company Amazon, which has ordered a total of 100,000 delivery vehicles from the Irvine, California-based company. The first vehicles are to be delivered this month, which is why the car manufacturer has prioritized the order over its own production. “We are pushing the envelope here in every respect.”

On the stock exchange, however, the numbers were received with great disappointment. In the first few weeks after the IPO, the initial euphoria in view of the IPO had subsided after the price had fallen from 172.01 US dollars to 108.87 US dollars. After the presentation of the figures, the price dropped again after the hours of trading by around ten percent and was in the late afternoon (local time) at 99 US dollars per share

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