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Electric Truck Maker Rivian Has Roughly 55,400 Preorders, Says it Won't Be Able to Deliver Them All Until the End of 2023

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【Summary】According to an amended SEC filing on Nov 5, electric truck maker Rivian said it had had approximately 55,400 R1T pickups and R1S SUV pre-orders in the U.S. and Canada as of October 31, 2021. But based on the company's current production forecasts, it expects it won't be able to fill the pre-order backlog until the end of 2023.

Eric Walz    Nov 09, 2021 10:00 AM PT
Electric Truck Maker Rivian Has Roughly 55,400 Preorders, Says it Won't Be Able to Deliver Them All Until the End of 2023
Rivian's fully-electric R1T pickup and R1S SUV are being built at the company's factory in Normal, Illinois.

In an amended SEC filing ahead of its upcoming IPO, electric truck maker Rivian shared a bit more about its production forecasts and it's not great news for new customers and those waiting for their electric vehicles to be delivered.

According to the amended SEC filing on Nov 5, Rivian said it had had approximately 55,400 R1T pickups and R1S SUV pre-orders in the U.S. and Canada as of October 31, 2021. Each customer paid a fully refundable deposit of $1,000 to reserve their Rivian vehicle, but it also can be cancelled at any time and the deposit returned to the customer.

But in its amended SEC filing, Rivian wrote, "Based on our current production forecast, we expect to fill our pre-order backlog of approximately 55,400 R1 vehicles by the end of 2023." 

Rivian said its factory in Normal, Illinois is currently equipped to produce a total of 150,000 vehicles annually, distributed between the R1 platform, which will be used to produce the R1T pickup and and R1S SUV, and the RCV platform, which will be used to produce electric delivery vehicles (EDVs) for Amazon and other commercial vehicles. However, in order to achieve maximum output, Rivian said it would need to run the factory "at its full rate with multiple shifts."

The current annual capacity for the R1 platform and RCV platform is roughly 65,000 and 85,000 vehicles, according to Rivian. 

The company said it produced just 104 R1T pickups during the last week of Oct 2021. It represented just 8% of its target R1 production rate of 1,310 EVs per day. When annualized, it equates to the current installed R1 platform capacity of approximately 65,000 R1 vehicles annually, assuming that the factory is fully operational for 49.6 weeks per year. 

Rivian disclosed in its amended securities filing that it plans to deliver 1,000 R1Ts by the end of the year.

For Rivian's commercial electric vehicle platform, the company's target is to produce approximately 1,710 commercial vehicles a week, which when annualized equates to an annual capacity of approximately 85,000 vehicles.

Rivian is backed by e-commerce giant Amazon. The online retailer ordered 100,000 fully-electric delivery vehicles from Rivian that it plans to add to its fleet over the next decade. The deal with Amazon represents one of the largest single orders ever for electric vehicles. The deal includes supplying Amazon with 10,000 vehicles each year over the next decade.

Rivian however, expects that its vehicle production rate will continuously improve. The company's goals are to increase the speed of the assembly line and hire and train new employees so the factory can operate with additional shifts. Rivian alos plans to increase the rate of purchased materials from its supply chain. 

If Rivian meets its targets, the company expects to achieve an annual vehicle production rate of up to 150,000 vehicles by late 2023. Which means that new reservation holders hoping to take delivery of an R1T pickup by spring 2022 might have to wait another 18 months.

For some loyal fans of Rivian, the wait might be worth it though as the buzz surrounding the innovative R1T electric pickup has been growing. Rivian however, is facing some of the same challenges its main U.S. rival Tesla faced with the launch of the Model 3 in 2017. 

Customers also had to wait a longer wait time for their Model 3 sedans, as Tesla faced unexpected production delays in 2017 after the mass-market EV first entered production at its factory in California.

Rivian's R1T pickup truck was originally scheduled to be delivered to customers starting in June, but later pushed deliveries to July, then once again to September.

In an email sent to R1T reservations holders in July, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe cited multiple factors for the delays. Among these are the global chip shortage which is affecting auto production worldwide. The Rivian CEO also cited the pandemic, which he said had a compounding effect on construction progress at its factory in Normal, Illinois.

Rivian's amended SEC filing still paints an optimistic picture of the company's future though. 

"We believe the combination of our deep focus on addressing climate change, building compelling products, and delivering a superior customer experience will enable Rivian to drive adoption and customer loyalty, powering our continued growth, " Rivian wrote.

Rivian also raised its price targets when the company launches its much anticipated IPO later this month. Rivian plans to offer 135 million shares priced between $72 and $74, up from its initial target of $57 to $62.

At the top end of that current range, and assuming the underwriters exercise an option to purchase another 20.25 million additional shares, Rivian would be worth around $65 billion, which is close to the market cap of Ford Motor Motor Co, which is also a backer of Rivian. Ford's market cap is just over $78 billion and the automaker holds a 12% stake in Rivian.

Rivian expects to raise up to $9.8 billion in its upcoming IPO.

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