American electric car maker, Rivian recently announced that it will reduce part of its workforce. Amy Mast, a spokeswoman for electric car maker Rivian, confirmed by email that the company will lay off about 6% of its 14,000 employees. This means that over 800 Rivian staff are going to be out of jobs soon. According to the company, it needs to cut jobs in order to increase the development of future versions of its electric trucks and SUV. The spokeswoman said
“Today, we announced a difficult decision to reduce the size of the Rivian team by approximately 6%. This decision will help align our workforce with key business priorities. These priorities include increasing consumer and commercial vehicle programs, accelerating the development of the R2 and other future models, deploying our go-to-market program, and optimizing spend across the company.”
This comes after a report earlier this month said Rivian leadership was looking to cut non-manufacturing jobs that had grown as it scaled. Rivian has been making changes recently to try and cut costs. Chief executive RJ Scaringe allegedly acknowledged in an email to employees that the company was considering layoffs. Rivian spokeswoman Miranda Jimenez made the contents of the email public in early July.
“We have implemented reforms at Rivian, including prioritizing certain projects (and discontinuing some), halting hiring for certain non-manufacturing jobs, and undertaking significant cost-cutting efforts,” Scaringe wrote in the email. In order to reduce material expenditure and operating costs, we also began to adjust processes across the company to ensure that we are as focused, flexible and efficient as possible to achieve our priorities and goals.”
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Rivian is ramping up production
The layoffs come at a critical time for Rivian, which has just begun ramping up production of pickup trucks, SUVs and delivery vans for Amazon. In its latest earnings report, Rivian said the company has built about 2,553 vehicles, delivered 1,227, and plans to produce 25,000 by the end of the year. There are reports that the company still has a large cash reserve. However, the company also recorded a loss of about $1.59 billion last quarter.
However, Rivian’s production and deliveries are still far too small compared to Tesla, which sells hundreds of thousands of vehicles each quarter. While Tesla also has frequent delay issues, the company has proven that it can mass-produce cars. Rivian’s latest figures show it has nearly 200,000 reservations (half of them from Amazon), but its capacity remains a problem.
The company isn’t the only auto company making layoffs. Ford is reportedly considering cutting 8,000 jobs, and Tesla has announced plans to cut 10% of its workforce. Many large tech companies have also laid off a large number of employees in recent months.
Rivian plans to launch more commercial electric vehicles
According to Reuters, before the official release of the large EDV-700 truck with Amazon, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said it will launch more commercial electric vehicles.
Scaringe said the American electric car maker will launch other models based on the RCV. The RCV platform is one that the company is building for Amazon’s vans. In addition to solving last-mile deliveries with vans, the company has had a lot of discussions with other customers about commercial electric vehicles. Scaringe, however, did not disclose which clients it has.
In addition, Scaringe said Rivian is planning a smaller line of commercial vehicles. This line could use the same parts as its upcoming R2 electric off-roader. It plans to open a new $5 billion plant in Georgia in 2025. Scaringe claims the series will be built on a new platform, with a smaller footprint and a smaller exterior size than the Amazon EDV-700. However, the CEO still expects the company to be able to produce 1 million electric cars a year after 2030.