Rivian Sticks With EV Forecast Despite First-Quarter Loss

Tweaks to Illinois Assembly Line Will Put Electric Vehicle Company on Path to Modest Gross Profit This Year, It Says
Rivian vehicles
A Rivian R1T electric vehicle pickup truck at a Rivian service center in New York. (Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg News)

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Rivian Automotive fell short of Wall Street’s earnings expectations to start the year as the automaker works to revamp its manufacturing operations and boost output of electric vehicles.

The company posted an adjusted loss of $1.24 a share for the first quarter, according to a statement May 7. That was worse than the average $1.15 deficit in analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales in the period were roughly in line with expectations after Rivian last month reported better-than-expected deliveries.

Despite the uneven quarter, Rivian stood by its plan to build 57,000 vehicles this year as the company works to retool its Normal, Ill., plant to reduce costs and support production growth. The company also continues to see an adjusted loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $2.7 billion for 2024.

The report shows how the automaker is navigating challenges while boosting production, reversing a sagging stock price and overcoming slow consumer demand. The company, the biggest pure-play maker of battery-electric vehicles in the U.S. behind Tesla Inc., is planning to roll out a smaller, more affordable compact sport utility vehicle called the R2.

In a Bloomberg TV interview May 8, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said R2 reservations have increased from the 68,000 the company initially disclosed soon after revealing the new model in March. But he declined to provide a more specific number, calling reservations a “false metric.”


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Rivian had warned investors that there would be a planned shutdown of its Illinois assembly lines in the current period to make technology and components upgrades to its consumer cars. Those tweaks will put Rivian on a path to modest gross profit in the final three months of this year, the company reiterated May 7.

In March, Rivian surprised investors with a plan to delay a new factory in Georgia and launch the mass-market R2 from its existing facility in Normal. The company pledged to invest $1.5 billion to expand the Normal plant and secured more than $800 million of incentives from the state.

Rivian, which offers two consumer EVs and a commercial van, is backed by a number of big-name investors, including Amazon.com Inc. But since its 2021 listing, Rivian’s shares have languished, and it has struggled to scale its output.

The manufacturer has continued to cut jobs this year amid economic turbulence and waning demand for its premium-priced cars.

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