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Rivian beats EV production estimates with shipments rebounding – Orange County Register

By Ed Ludlow | Bloomberg

Irvine-based Rivian Automotive built and delivered more electric vehicles last quarter than Wall Street expected, although it met its 2024 production target of about 57,000 units.

The results and unchanged outlook for the full year failed to allay investors’ concerns about the electric vehicle market. Rivian shares fell 4.6% as of 12:02 p.m. in New York, bringing year-to-date losses to about 55%.

Also see: Irvine electric vehicle maker Rivian suspends Georgia factory, launches R2 and R3 prototypes

The company manufactured 13,980 electric vehicles in the first three months of the year and delivered 13,588 to its customers, according to a statement released Tuesday. The production numbers compare with analysts’ average estimates of 13,817. Deliveries were also significantly above expectations.

Rivian announced last month that it would halt work on its planned factory near Atlanta to speed up the introduction of a new, cheaper R2 model targeting the mass market at its Normal, Illinois, plant. . Bloomberg Intelligence’s Steve Man and Peter Lau said that means stronger-than-expected shipments in the first quarter likely won’t carry over into the second quarter.

Truist analyst Jordan Levy wrote in a note to clients that Rivian’s short-term cash flow and long-term capital needs mean the company’s stock remains held.

Learn more about electric vehicles: Is the decline in sales in California just an incident or a long-term trend?

“Ultimately, we believe shares will remain range-bound until Rivian can demonstrate sustained gross margin improvement following the normal shutdown,” he said.

But Stephanie Valdez Streaty, director of industry research at Cox Automotive, told Bloomberg TV that Rivian’s R2 unveiling “created a lot of energy for the brand.”

“R2 will be essential for more affordable volumes and to be able to generate profits in the long term,” she said. “Rivian is on the right track.”

The electric vehicle maker has had a difficult start to the year, marked by job cuts, plans to keep production stable and a sharp decline in its market value.

One of the few electric vehicle makers chasing market leader Tesla, Rivian has stumbled in its efforts to scale up manufacturing since going public in 2021. The company makes three battery-powered models: a pickup truck and a sport utility vehicle for consumers, and a commercial van for shareholder Amazon.com.

Rivian warned in February that deliveries would be down 10 to 15% in the first quarter compared to the previous three months. It also said that production would be around 13,500 units due to changes in the supply chain and the introduction of new materials.

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