Rivian plans to produce 155,000 units of the R2 per year

US electric car manufacturer Rivian once again reports high losses for the first quarter, but for the first time provides details of the planned production capacities following the expansion of its plant in Normal, Illinois, in its annual report.

Image: Rivian

Just a few days ago, Rivian announced that it had received an incentive package totalling 827 million dollars from the US state of Illinois to expand its existing plant in the town of Normal. In addition to the premium vehicles R1T pickup and R1S SUV and the Rivian delivery vans, the new electric mid-range SUV R2 is also to be produced there in future. To this end, Rivian is putting the construction of a planned second plant in Georgia on hold for the time being.

In its Q1 annual report, Rivian now comments on the planned production capacities following the expansion of its plant in Normal: these are expected to be 215,000 vehicles per year, of which the new R2 model will account for 155,000 units. The current plant capacity is expected to be 150,000 units per year. Rivian is not saying when the expansion in Normal will be completed. However, it is known that the electric mid-range SUV will be launched on the market in 2026. Rivian also emphasises that it is still pursuing the goal with Amazon of putting 100,000 “EDV” electric delivery vans on the roads for the online delivery giant – without, however, specifying a time horizon. In the meantime, Rivian is also selling the delivery van to third parties as the ‘RCV’.

As far as the balance sheet for the first quarter is concerned, Rivian is still in the red. The electric car manufacturer’s turnover in the first quarter of 2024 totalled 1.2 billion US dollars, which is mainly due to the 13,588 electric cars delivered in this period. However, the net loss from January to March totalled around 1.45 billion US dollars due to high investments – which is around 100 million dollars more than in the same period last year.

A month ago, the US electric car manufacturer announced that it had produced significantly fewer electric vehicles in the first three months of this year than in the previous quarter. Rivian is nevertheless sticking to its most recent production forecast of 57,000 units for 2024 as a whole. This forecast is the same as in 2023, when 57,232 vehicles rolled off the production line.

Rivian produced 13,980 vehicles in the first quarter and delivered 13,588 units. While deliveries only fell by 384 units compared to the final quarter of 2023, production output fell by 3,561 vehicles. This is because Rivian recorded a comparatively strong result in the fourth quarter of 2023 with 17,541 electric cars produced and 13,972 delivered. In the second and third quarters of 2023, Rivian recorded 13,992 and 16,304 units produced and 12,640 and 15,564 deliveries respectively. Expressed as a percentage, the decline in production from the fourth quarter of 2023 to the first quarter of 2024 was 20.3 per cent. Deliveries decreased by 2.7 per cent.

As previously mentioned, the electric car startup is currently producing the R1T pickup and the R1S SUV as well as the Electric Delivery Van (EDV) for Amazon on a separate line. In its reports, the company does not provide a breakdown of how many of each model series Rivian has recently produced. What is clear, however, is this: Financially, 2024 is likely to be a challenge for Rivian. In 2023, the company’s net loss totalled 5.4 billion dollars (4.98 billion euros). Within three years, Rivian has already lost 16.8 billion dollars. However, as the manufacturer has expanded its drive options for the two R1 models downwards over time and introduced the smaller R2 in March and teased an even more compact R3, increasingly affordable vehicles are likely to be offered, which should pave the way for Rivian to enter the mass market.

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