An R1T in Rivian Blue at the main entrance to the plant in Normal, IL.​
Courtesy of Rivian

Rivian Misses Earnings Estimates Again As It Fights To Deliver More Electric Cars

Rivian missed earnings expectations in its first quarter as production constraints and supply chain delays continued to slow down vehicle deliveries.


The electric automaker reported a first quarter net loss of $1.6 billion and posted first quarter revenue of $95 million, compared to expected revenue of roughly $130.5 million.

The numbers were an improvement over the $2.5 billion net loss the company reported last quarter and barely beat analysts' loss expectations—enough to boost its stock by roughly 8% in after-hours trading Wednesday.

In a shareholder letter Wednesday, Rivian said it expects to continue burning cash as it ramps up production.

“This dynamic will continue in the near term, but we expect it will improve” as production outpaces labor and overhead costs, the company said.

Rivian built 2,553 vehicles and delivered 1,227 in the first quarter, according to its report, bringing the total number of vehicles delivered to 2,148. The company needs to increase production by ten times if it’s to hit its revised forecast of 25,000 vehicles this year and 150,000 vehicles per year by 2023.

The direct-to-consumer auto startup said as of May 9 it received over 90,000 orders in the U.S. and Canada for its R1 vehicle. It also has another order to supply Amazon with 100,000 commercial electric delivery vans.

But the company has built fewer than 5,000 cars since it started production, a small figure for a company that plans to one day dominate at least 10% of the global auto market.

“Of course our focus as an organization for 2022 is to get more R1s and EVs on the road,” Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe said during the company’s earnings call. “The majority of our time is focused on ensuring our teams are driving towards ramping [up] production and deliveries to customers.”

In a bid to compensate for slower-than-expected sales, Rivian earlier this year tried to raise the price of its vehicles by 20%, but buyers quickly objected and one shareholder sued. The company later backtracked.

To meet production goals, Rivian said it’s ramping up hiring at its plant in Normal, Ill. and planning to break ground on a new $5 billion, 2,000-acre factory outside of Atlanta, Ga., which came with a hefty $1.5 billion tax break from the local government. That factory is expected to create 7,500 local jobs. Rivian said it will produce 400,000 cars annually once it reaches full capacity.

Between its planned Georgia factory and its plant in Illinois, Rivian expects to produce 600,000 cars each year when it's fully up and running.

Those plans have failed to impress Rivian’s big-name shareholders, many of whom have sold off significant portions of their stock, including Ford, which sold 8 million Rivian shares this week – though it still maintains a stake. Ford originally had plans to develop an electric Lincoln SUV with Rivian, but the deal fell through last November.

Amazon backed Rivian in 2019 and said in its April earnings report it had taken a $7.6 billion loss on its investment.

In the last three months, Rivian’s stock tanked more than 60%, and since its IPO in November 2021 the stock is down over 75%.

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