Rivian started a tough year with a flat foot Tech Crunch

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Rivian has had a challenging year – and a lukewarm start to the first quarter.

The EV startup on Tuesday announced that it built 13,980 vehicles in the first quarter of 2024 and delivered 13,588 of them. Both of those figures are down from the fourth quarter of 2023, where it built 17,541 and shipped 13,972.

Rivian signaled that he was planning to manufacture roughly the same number of EVs in 2023. So, if the company can keep pace with the 2023 numbers it should meet the targets. Things don't get any easier from here. Rivian plans to shut down its production lines for weeks in the second quarter so it can make upgrades that will help lower the cost of building its EVs — another critical challenge it must overcome if it hopes to stay in the game as a relevant player. That's enough time to bring its next-generation R2 EVs to market in 2026.

It has never been a challenge for the company to produce and sell vehicles that include two versions of the R1S SUV, the R1T pickup and a commercial electric van. Lowering the manufacturing cost of its EVs is essential to profitability. The company reported in February that it was losing about $43,000 on each vehicle sold in the last quarter of last year.

The uncertainty comes at a time when many companies are struggling to meet high expectations due to the boom in EV sales over the past two years.

Tesla reported its own weak first-quarter sales on Tuesday. Ford has scaled back its ambitions for its flagship EVs. In the startup world, Lucid Motors said in February that it plans to build just 9,000 luxury sedans this year and is trying to establish the market. Fisker fell pretty flat on its face when it sold only half of the 10,000 electric SUVs the contract manufacturer made in 2023.

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