By Mark Kane, InsideEVs, and Joey Klender, Teslarati
Published Feb. 1, 2023
There is no doubt 2022 was a challenging but fruitful year for Rivian, which, according to a video posted to YouTube, produced 25,051 electric vehicles, 20,332 of which were delivered to customers.
The company's manufacturing plant in Normal, IL, runs two shifts and achieved a record 200 vehicles produced in a single day, which would equal roughly 70,000+ vehicles annually. The next step is the addition of a night shift to further increase the production of the R1T pickup, R1S SUV and EDV van.
However, Rivian will reportedly layoff 6% of its workforce, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters, following pressure from EV rivals, which have cut prices significantly already in 2023, putting pressure on EV makers attempting to reach profitability.
The cuts are expected to affect 840 employees, but none related to manufacturing operations at the plant in Normal.
“We must focus our resources on ramp and our path to profitability,” CEO RJ Scaringe said in the memo, before apologizing to the affected employees.
Rivian has made several strategy moves over the past six months to conserve cash and work toward profitability within its operations. Just three months after signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Mercedes-Benz to develop electric vans, Rivian scrapped the deal as it needed to “evaluate growth opportunities” and “pursue the best risk-adjusted returns on our capital investments.”
“At this point in time, we believe focusing on our consumer business, as well as our existing commercial business, represent the most attractive near-term opportunities to maximize value for Rivian,” Scaringe said at the time.
Rivian had lost $18 billion in cash and cash equivalents at the end of Q3 2022 compared to the same quarter a year earlier.
Rivian is also implementing improvements based on what it learned from initial production, as well as in response to some parts supply constraints. The increased production volume should help reduce the order backlog---which in the case of R1T/R1S pre-orders exceeds 100,000---and bring the company a step closer to financial profitability.