On this week’s earnings call, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe made his position clear, “flagship” pricing isn’t going anywhere.
Rivian bucked the EV startup industry earnings trend earlier this week. While competitors Lucid and Fisker announced dramatic falls in revenue and fleeting cash reserves, Rivian beat earnings expectations and demonstrated a solid ability to continue to lower operating costs, helping to maintain the company’s massive cash reserves. According to Reuters, emboldened by this week’s success, Rivian’s CEO has made his plans clear, stay the course.
Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe proposed a somewhat controversial pricing strategy for the EV truck maker. The company will continue to work on delivering higher-priced offerings, keeping with the brand’s “flagship vehicle” strategy. In short, Scaringe argued that with the R1 vehicles not being high production number vehicles, Rivian would continue to work to deliver higher-priced and better-optioned vehicles, or “flagships,” to customers.
Luckily for Rivian customers, this strategy closely follows customer buying patterns, steadily raising the average transaction price for Rivian trucks over the past six months. Furthermore, by resisting the temptation to shift pricing downward, Rivian can remain on track to achieving ever-important profitability.
The pricing strategy has quickly split investors for two main reasons. Foremost, with increasing price pressure from competitors like Tesla, some believe that Rivian should respond with price cuts of its own. Further, with increased competition knocking at the door, decreasing prices could help Rivian secure customers in the heating market.
While data shared by Rivian’s CFO does seem to back up the plan from Scaringe, with the vast majority of buyers opting for higher-priced variants, the argument regarding market competitiveness has grown in popularity with the growth in electric truck offerings. In the coming year, Ford is dramatically increasing production of its popular F-150 Lightning, which already dramatically undercuts the pricing of Rivian’s offerings. Moreover, Tesla’s long-awaited Cybertruck is due to enter the market and mass production in the coming year.
Besides the top two electric truck market leaders, looking further down the road, General Motors will also be introducing offerings of its own in the form of the Chevy Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV.
Nonetheless, even with the split opinions, investors have shown healthy confidence in Scaringe to deliver on his plan, seeing as Rivian’s stock has begun a rare rally following the earnings call earlier this week. This upward movement is rare for Rivian, which has seen its stock offering slide over 80% since its IPO.
William is a Rivian shareholder.
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