Rivian Automotive Curtails Production in 2022 Due to Supply-Chain Disruptions

Rivian Automotive Inc.’s

losses deepened in the fourth quarter and the electric-car startup said supply-chain challenges would sharply curtail its factory output this year.

The California-based truck maker said after the close of trading Thursday that it expects to produce 25,000 vehicles in 2022. The company said it would be able to double that output if it weren’t for constraints on getting parts and materials.

Wall Street analysts earlier this month were projecting it would deliver about 40,000 vehicles in 2022.

Rivian shares fell nearly 13% after reporting the results. They closed Thursday down over 6% at $41.16.

The company expressed confidence in its manufacturing capability and said it is working with suppliers to ease bottlenecks. Rivian produced 2,425 vehicles from the start of production last year through Tuesday.

Rivian chief RJ Scaringe blamed the disruption on “a small number of parts,” including semiconductors, circuit boards and wire harnesses coming from Mexico, where the pandemic is exacerbating labor challenges. He said batteries aren’t in short supply.

The car company reported revenue of $54 million for the October-to-December period, up from $1 million in the third quarter.

Rivian’s net loss in the fourth quarter was $2.46 billion, compared with a loss of $353 million in the year-earlier period.

Rivian’s stock has tumbled in recent months, after an initial public offering in November that raised $13.7 billion in gross proceeds and soon pushed its valuation higher than that of traditional rivals

General Motors Co.

and

Ford Motor Co.

The car company began delivering its first two vehicles—the R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV—late last year from its factory in Normal, Ill. In mid-December, Rivian said it had 71,000 preorders for the two models and disclosed it was building a second factory in Georgia capable of manufacturing an additional 400,000 vehicles a year.

Amazon.com Inc.,

which owns about 19% of Rivian, has a deal to buy 100,000 vans from Rivian. The startup has said it anticipates fulfilling that order by the end of 2025.

“Rivian has a lot on its plate,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Joseph Spak said in a March 1 research note. “The production ramp was always one of the biggest near-term risks.”

The analyst cut his production estimate for next year to 80,000 vehicles, from 100,000.

The past few months have proved challenging for the upstart, founded in 2009 by Mr. Scaringe.

Rivian is facing competition from Ford, GM and other more-established car companies in the still-nascent market for electric pickups. In January, GM unveiled an all-electric version of its popular Chevy Silverado. Ford last year said it was adding factory capacity to build the electric F-150 Lightning in response to strong demand. The truck is scheduled to go on sale this spring.

On March 1, Rivian angered customers when it alerted them to a retroactive price increase on pickup trucks and SUVs preordered by customers. It cited higher inflation and commodity costs for the change.

The price hike triggered a backlash, leading to cancellations and resulting in a 25% drop in its stock price in the days after.

Mr. Scaringe later apologized for the move, vowing to restore the original pricing. Shares have yet to recover and were down 60% for the year as of Thursday’s close, pushing its market value under $40 billion.

On Thursday, Rivian executives said the company’s rate of preorders didn’t drop following the price increase and more than half of those who canceled chose to reinstate. The company had about 83,000 preorders as of this week, up from about 71,000 in mid-December, it said.

Write to Mike Colias at [email protected]

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