Rivian has broadened its electric cargo van customer base beyond Amazon, while also forecasting increased production and implementing strategic initiatives to enhance long-term profitability.
Rivian has ended its exclusive deal with Amazon, allowing it to supply electric vehicles to a wider range of fleet customers.
The automaker plans to increase its production capacity to 150,000 vehicles annually, including electric vans and consumer vehicles.
Despite a third-quarter loss, Rivian remains committed to electric vehicle adoption, with plans for a new, more affordable model and a leasing program amid economic uncertainties.
Rivian, the electric vehicle manufacturer known in part for its partnership with Amazon, announced a significant shift in strategy. The company confirmed that their agreement with Amazon is no longer exclusive, marking a pivotal move to diversify its clientele. This decision opens avenues for Rivian to cater to various commercial sectors eager to transition to electric vehicles, as stated by CEO RJ Scaringe. The intent is to initiate pilot programs leading to substantial fleet orders, leveraging the production capabilities of Rivian’s plant in Normal, Illinois.
Scaringe emphasized Rivian’s commitment to fulfilling the needs of large-scale fleet operators with their electric vans. While Amazon remains a prominent customer with a substantial order history, Rivian has revised its 2023 production forecast upwards, from 52,000 to 54,000 vehicles. This increase is part of a strategy aimed at achieving profitability, which includes raising vehicle prices and decreasing material costs.
During the third-quarter earnings call, the company reported a loss of $1.3 billion, an improvement from the previous year, alongside a revenue boost to $1.3 billion. Rivian plans a temporary production halt by the end of 2023 and a more significant shutdown in mid-2024 for production line enhancements. These adjustments, as explained by Chief Financial Officer Claire McDonough, are cost-reduction measures that will facilitate a future increase in production volumes.
Rivian continues to focus on the electric vehicle market’s potential, with Scaringe expressing a strong conviction in the automotive industry’s shift towards electric technology. Despite the general industry’s cautious stance on EV production expansion, Rivian is gearing up for the production of a new, more affordable consumer electric vehicle, the R2, slated for a 2026 launch.
The company also introduced a leasing program for select models, a strategic response to the current high-interest-rate environment, offering customers an alternative way to engage with Rivian’s products.