The honeymoon is over…
Many a media outlet, both automotive and otherwise, has been absolutely fawning over Rivian. That was true back when the startup automaker barely had a proof of concept, a phenomena which is always weird and should raise a degree of suspicion. Reality has come into the equation for Rivian, with the company looking to slash hundreds of jobs as the economy takes a turn, showing these fresh EV outfits have to deal with the same rigors as everyone else.
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Per multiple reports, Rivian is expected to lay off about 700 people sometime in the next few months. That’s enough to make the people working for Rivian feel more than a little nervous. None of the cuts will be in manufacturing, so the hope is production will continue at current volumes, if not increase. Supposedly, Rivian will be ditching people who do the same thing as someone else. Let the competitions begin.
If you don’t know, Rivian is based in swanky Irvine, California but has about 14,000 employees spread all over the world. In other words, 700 is a small percentage of the total company. Famously, Amazon has provided financial backing for Rivian and in turn the company manufactures all-electric delivery vans for the online retailer. Predictably, Rivian won’t comment on the leaked news of layoffs. It’s worth noting Tesla reportedly is slashing 10% of its salaried workforce as Elon Musk prepares the company for a recession.
Ford and Rivian severed their former agreement to develop an EV jointly. Since then, Ford has launched the F-150 Lightning, an all-electric pickup that’s in direct competition with Rivian’s R1T. Wall Street has bet big on the EV startup, valuing it at more than GM, Ford, and many other established automakers. Even with all the good financial news, Rivian has still been hit hard by supply chain constraints just like everyone else.
Rivians aren’t exactly for the working class. The R1T, and all-electric pickup truck, has a starting price of $67,500. If you’d rather go with the R1S, a full-size all-electric SUV, prepare to shell out at least $72,500.