HomeBusinessRivian Cranked Up Production in Second Quarter at Illinois Factory

Rivian Cranked Up Production in Second Quarter at Illinois Factory


Rivian


RIVN 10.42%

Automotive Inc. said it produced 4,401 vehicles in the second quarter, the latest in the electric-vehicle maker’s efforts to overcome parts shortages and production snarls to fulfill orders for waiting customers.

The second-quarter production figures, released Wednesday morning in a regulatory filing, are a sharp increase over the 2,553 vehicles it manufactured in the first three months of 2022. The company also said it delivered 4,467 vehicles to customers, compared with 1,227 vehicles in the previous quarter.

Rivian reiterated that it was on track to hit its target of producing 25,000 vehicles this year—a goal that would require it to manufacture 9,000 vehicles in each of the final two quarters of 2022.

The results beat expectations. Analysts at RBC Capital Markets had forecast production of 3,400 vehicles for the second quarter. Rivian’s stock was up 10% at Wednesday’s close.

Rivian faces increased pressure from more-established rivals who are releasing their own versions of battery-powered trucks and SUVs.

Ford Motor Co.


F -1.25%

said Tuesday that its EV sales rose 77% in June to 4,353 vehicles and it expects increased production of its F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E will help further boost sales in July.

Rivian, based in Irvine, Calif., has struggled to keep its sole factory in Normal, Ill., running on a regular basis since beginning production in September. The company builds three electric models at the assembly plant: the R1T pickup truck, R1S sport-utility vehicle and a delivery van for

Amazon.com Inc.


AMZN 0.73%

Rivian isn’t the only car maker struggling to increase EV production.

General Motors Co.


GM -3.40%

is producing around a dozen electric GMC Hummer pickup trucks every day. GM expects production to speed up in the latter half of this year.

Rivian Chief Executive

RJ Scaringe

has blamed a shortage of parts, particularly semiconductors, for the production woes. The shortages led Rivian in March to slash in half its production forecast for 2022 to 25,000 vehicles. The company’s share price has declined around 75% since its public-market debut in November as Rivian’s production ramp-up fell short of initial projections.

The company has said increasing production volume is essential to stemming its losses, which ballooned to $1.6 billion in the January-March quarter from $414 million during the same period last year. Rivian has said it has sufficient cash to fund its business and expansion plans. The company had $17 billion in cash as of the end of March.

Thus far, Rivian has struggled to keep its factory running for more than a few days a week, but aims to run both a day and night shift, five days a week in the latter half of the year.

RJ Scaringe, chief executive of Rivian, has blamed a shortage of parts, particularly chips, for the company’s production woes.



Photo:

Jamie Kelter Davis/Bloomberg News

The global semiconductor shortage has hampered production at car plants around the world, hitting established car makers and electric-vehicle upstarts alike. The world’s largest car maker,

Toyota Motor Corp.


TM -1.19%

, missed its global production target in May, citing pandemic-related factory shutdowns and constrained computer-chip supplies.

Tesla Inc.


TSLA -0.57%

reported a quarter-on-quarter decline in vehicle deliveries, reflecting an extended shutdown in China, supply-chain disruptions and challenges associated with opening two new factories.

Rivian’s factory, a former

Mitsubishi Motors Corp.

plant, has the capacity to produce 150,000 vehicles a year. Rivian is also planning to build another $5 billion factory in Georgia, which will begin operation in 2024.

Electric-vehicle startups such as Rivian, Lucid, Fisker, Canoo and Lordstown are having to adjust to the realities of making vehicles in a harsh economy. WSJ’s George Downs explains some of the challenges they are facing and why some even risk going out of business. Photo composite: George Downs

Write to Sean McLain at [email protected]

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Appeared in the July 7, 2022, print edition as ‘Rivian Cranked Up Production in Quarter.’



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