Rivian CEO optimistic on EV production, expanding into Europe

Following a big second quarter, Rivian’s CEO and founder, RJ Scaringe, believes the best is yet to come. Scaringe says Rivian’s supply chain is coming together, allowing for more predictability regarding production.

Rivian hits a turning point in Q2 EV production

Rivian hit a “turning point” in the second quarter, crushing estimates by delivering 12,640 and producing nearly 14,000 electric vehicles.

After a slow start to the year, building 9,395 EVs in the first quarter, Rivian said it was as expected due to revamping its electric delivery van (EDV) assembly line to accommodate its new in-house Enduro drive units and LFP battery packs.

Rivian said the move would help boost EV output throughout the year with simplified production and operational efficiency.

The EV maker reaffirmed that it’s on track to deliver on its 50,000 annual production guidance, up from just short of 25,000 last year.

Speaking with BloombergTVScaringe explained the complexity behind launching three different products simultaneously (R1T, R1S, and EDV). Launching and scaling one production is challenging, but launching three is extremely complicated.

Rivian R1T (Source: Rivian)

As a result, Rivian “felt it last year” with parts shortages and other unforeseen hurdles, but as Scaringe describes, “what we saw in Q2 was the beginnings of the supply chain really running in a healthy way.”

Scaringe gave an example for the first time during a board meeting where its supply chain slide had no red on it. He says the supply chain is “healthy” and keeping up with production.

With newfound visibility over its supply chain, Rivian is running its manufacturing facility in Normal, Illinois, “as intended.” Having this supply chain confidence, Rivian says, makes it easier to predict production abilities.

Rivian R1S (Source: Rivian)

Knowing “all the unknowns” that still exist, Rivian is sticking to its 50K production goal rather than overpromising results.

Rivian’s CFO Claire McDonough explained during an interview with Deutsche Bank last month that the EV maker would prioritize R1S production through the second half of the year after seeing a “robust backlog of preorders that extends into 2024.”

Rivian EDVs expand into Europe with Amazon

In an exciting milestone, Rivian’s EDVs are beginning to roll out across Europe in collaboration with Amazon. The electric vans are specifically designed for city travel across Europe, with a shorter, thinner design than the US version.

Rivian EDV for European markets (Source: Rivian)

The first 300 are set to hit the streets of Munich, Berlin, and Dusseldorf in the coming weeks. Amazon says hitting its goal of having 100,000 electric delivery vans deployed globally will help cut millions of metric tons of carbon per year.

Scaringe says introducing its EDVs in Europe is “the beginning of opening up the European market for our products” with highly predictable plant service and delivery intervals.

Rivian stock is up over 40% this past month following the positive momentum, but shares are still down over 80% from their all-time highs after going public in November 2021.

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