The supply chain is still hurting Rivian. But the electric vehicle maker thinks things can only go up from here. (Thanks for jinxing it, Rivian.)
"We believe we’ve seen really the worst of it or sort of the valley, if you will, of these supply constraints," Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said on an earnings call on Wednesday. "And the suppliers are leaned in. We have very high levels of visibility into what the allocations will be on a go-forward basis. And that gives us the confidence of what the ramp will look like as we look out through the remainder of this year."
A little easing of the supply chain woes would be a big deal for Rivian, which has not had a good couple of weeks (or months, for that matter). The company lost $1.59 billion and delivered 1,227 vehicles in the first quarter of this year. Its stock also plummeted to record lows on the news that Ford had sold a sizable stake in the company. Meanwhile, other automakers from Tesla (supposedly) to Ford are ramping up production of vehicles that will compete directly with Rivian's SUV and pickup truck.
Inflation and the high cost of materials have also hampered the company. Rivian raised EV prices in early March, then quickly reversed course after the predictable backlash. The company has already cut its production goals to 25,000 vehicles this year because of supply chain issues. And last month, Scaringe said he expects the supply of EV batteries to become an even bigger problem than the chip shortage over the next years.
The supply chain untangling talk on Wednesday reflects a slightly more optimistic outlook than Scaringe's comments last month on the chip shortage. The company also said it has produced 5,000 vehicles so far and is still on track to produce a total of 25,000 in 2022. Rivian said it also has more than 90,000 reservations for its R1T and R1S EVs, nearly 10,000 more than the number of reservations last month. Scaringe said the company is still preparing to introduce R2, its new EV platform that Rivian created to be more affordable, by 2025.
Rivian's shares were up about 6% this morning.