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Rivian expects ‘continuing losses’ for foreseeable future as it ramps production

(Credit: Rivian)

Rivian Automotive said in a 10-K filing with the SEC earlier today that it expects “to incur significant expenses and continuing losses for the foreseeable future,” as it is a “growth stage” company.

“We have incurred net losses since our inception, including net losses of $0.4 billion, $1.0 billion, and $4.7 billion for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively,” Rivian said in the filing. “We believe that we will continue to incur operating and net losses in the future while we grow, including following our initial generation of revenues from the sale of our vehicles, which began with the R1T in September 2021 and the R1S and EDV in December 2021. We do not expect to be profitable for the foreseeable future as we invest in our business, build capacity, and ramp up operations, and we cannot assure you that we will ever achieve or be able to maintain profitability in the future.”

In February, Rivian hiked prices of any non-finalized order for its vehicles by at least 17 percent. This led Tesla CEO Elon Musk to indicate that Rivian’s negative gross margin would be “staggering” as it launched new dual-motor configurations for the R1T and R1S and increased prices. The company backtracked this move just days later, stating original prices would be honored and canceled orders would be reinstated.

Rivian, like many automotive startups, will struggle for years to come financially. In its early days, Tesla nearly drowned due to a lack of funding. CEO Elon Musk frequently reflects on this time as one of the darkest in company history. Tesla received funding just days before it would have likely closed its doors, as investors poured more money into the company, eventually leading to the development of the Model S.

Rivian will be no different. However, Rivian has a sizeable financial backing from some of the largest companies in the world, like Amazon, who ordered 100,000 EDVs from the automaker in 2019. Rivian recently stated its partnership with Amazon is extremely strong, delivering its first EDV to Amazon in late 2021.

“If we are ever to achieve profitability, it will be dependent upon the successful development and commercial introduction and acceptance of our consumer vehicles, such as the R1T and R1S, our commercial fleet vehicles, such as the EDV, and our services, which may not occur,” Rivian said in the filing.

Rivian reported its earnings for Q4 2021 on March 10, stating that it trimmed production targets for the year to 25,000 units from 40,000. Additionally, the company missed Wall Street estimates by reporting a loss of $2.43 per share and a revenue loss of $54 million.

“Our path to EV leadership won’t be easy,” Rivian said in its Shareholder Deck for the quarter. “In the immediate term, we are not immune to the supply chain issues that have challenged the entire industry. Those issues, which we believe will continue through at least 2022, have added a layer of complexity to our production ramp-up.”

Rivian also said it does not expect “to reach a vehicle production rate, which, when annualized, [that] would result in us using 100% of the facility’s current installed capacity of up to 150,000 vehicles until late 2023.”

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Rivian expects ‘continuing losses’ for foreseeable future as it ramps production
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