Amazon has ordered 100,000 delivery vans, but Rivian has been reluctant to say how many it has shipped. On Wednesday, she said only that she was “increasing production and deliveries.” On the call with analysts, Scaringe said she expected trucks to make up about a third of the 25,000 vehicles in the 2022 production forecast.
In many ways, Rivian epitomizes the sharp turn to bear in the stock market this year.
In November, investors flocked to its initial public offering, in which the company raised $13.5 billion, and then its shares soared, briefly giving Rivian a stock market value that was almost as great as Ford’s. Motor and General Motors combined.
But the shares have plunged this year after the company lowered its production targets. The 80 percent drop in Rivian shares is much steeper than a 31 percent drop in Tesla shares over the same period and a 38 percent drop for Ford, which is introducing its own electric truck.
Rivian makes vehicles in Normal, Ill., and plans another factory in Georgia. Building and operating assembly lines requires huge amounts of cash, which is why new car companies can find themselves in dire financial straits if production is delayed and sales fall short. Even Tesla, which sells more electric cars than any other company, has sometimes run out of funds.
In the first quarter, Rivian used $1.45 billion of cash to run its business and invest in new facilities and equipment, far more than the $800 million it used in the first quarter of 2021. The company had $16.4 billion of cash on its balance sheet in at the end of the first quarter, down from $18.1 billion at the end of last year.
Rivian’s stock decline sharply reduced the value of the holdings held by its major shareholders. Amazon’s 18 percent stake is worth $3.2 billion, down from $16.8 billion at the start of the year. Ford, another early investor, sold some of his shares on Monday and his remaining stake is worth $1.9 billion. It would have been worth $9.7 billion at the end of last year.
Rivian said it received more than 10,000 orders for its truck and SUV after it raised prices in March. Those orders had an average price of more than $93,000, the company added.
But because Rivian’s vehicles sell for relatively high prices, analysts wondered how much demand there might be if inflation continued to eat away at household spending power. “It remains to be seen how much appetite consumers have for the price of a Rivian,” Nelson said.