US automaker Rivian has shared production totals for the first quarter of 2022 less than a month after sharing revised production targets for the year. Despite a slow ramp-up in electric vehicle production, Rivian said it remains on track to meet its 2022 production numbers.
Rivian ($RIVN) is a US-based electric vehicle automaker that now has its two flagship electric vehicles driving on (select) roads. Although the company’s journey to the start of production has been long and interesting, Rivian cemented its title as the first automaker to deliver an all-electric truck with its R1T pickup truck last fall.
The R1T has since been joined on the assembly lines by the R1S SUV, which recently began rolling out first deliveries. Both consumer electric vehicles join Rivian’s commercial electric delivery van (EDV) currently being produced for Amazon, all at the automaker’s manufacturing facility in Normal, IL.
Despite reporting more than 83,000 reservations at the end of 2021, Rivian produced just 1,015 R1 models last year, delivering 920 according to its fourth-quarter shareholder letter. The letter also said the automaker lost more than $2.4 billion last quarter, saying supply chain issues led it to adjust its 2022 production targets to 25,000.
After closing its assembly lines in early January to streamline operations, Rivian claimed to have doubled its output rate:
We are focused on our production ramp and encouraged by the team’s progress. This is reflected in recent strong week-over-week production rate growth, in which our production has been constrained primarily by supplier constraints. Critical production areas of the plant, including the battery module, general assembly, skateboard assembly, body shop and paint shop, continue to establish production levels record weeklies for Rivian. In the two weeks leading up to March 8, we averaged a weekly production rate that was approximately twice the Q4 2021 release rate. As of March 8, we produced 1,410 vehicles in 2022 and 2,425 vehicles since the start of production.
These March 8 numbers were our only snapshot of Rivian’s progress in the first quarter of 2022 so far. And while the automaker has already surpassed its 2021 totals, it still has some way to go to meet its 2022 production targets.
Rivian shares (slightly) better production figures in the first quarter of 2022
In a press release today, Rivian said it produced 2,553 electric vehicles by the end of the first quarter of 2022 (March 31). Of these electric vehicles, Rivian has delivered 1,227 to customers. According to our calculations, Rivian has produced 3,568 vehicles since it began production last year and delivered 2,147, but Rivian’s latest tweet says the official number is 3,467 EVs built since the SOP… They’re probably right.
Despite its slow start and all this price-rise disaster, Rivian remains optimistic that it will meet its revised production targets by the end of the year:
These numbers are in line with the company’s expectations, and it believes it is well positioned to meet the annual production guidance of 25,000 provided in its fourth quarter earnings call on March 10, 2022.
Although the company’s valuation has seen a significant drop since its initial IPO in November, Rivian is still plentiful in cash (~$18 billion) and still has around 80,000 reservations waiting to be filled. When the automaker eventually hits its manufacturing pace, it should have enough capacity to sustain it.
Rivian’s current footprint in Normal will be able to produce 150,000 electric vehicles per year by 2023, and expansions are already underway to increase that capacity to 200,000 vehicles. A second install should also help. Last December, Rivian announced the arrival of an additional plant in Georgia which will eventually produce 400,000 vehicles per year.
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