Rivian Faces Challenges: Quarterly Deliveries Fall Short, Yet Production Surpasses Expectations

Rivian Automotive recently encountered a bit of a hurdle with its fourth-quarter vehicle deliveries not meeting market predictions. This situation arose amidst stiff competition and rising interest rates, which have impacted the demand for electric vehicles. Consequently, Rivian’s shares experienced a significant drop of nearly 10% this Tuesday.

In the final quarter of 2023, Rivian managed to deliver 13,972 vehicles, which was about 10% less than in the previous quarter. This figure fell short of the expected 14,430 vehicles, as anticipated by 13 analysts surveyed by Visible Alpha.

The surge in interest rates across the United States has led to increased monthly payments for electric vehicles, making them less accessible for many. This development has sparked a competitive pricing strategy by Tesla, the market leader in this sector.

Another factor influencing Rivian’s delivery numbers is its largest supporter and client, Amazon.com, which typically doesn’t take vehicle deliveries in the fourth quarter due to its focus on the holiday shopping rush.

Vitaly Golomb, a Rivian investor and an expert in electric and autonomous mobility, suggests that holiday schedules might have played a role in the slower pace of deliveries compared to production.

Despite these delivery challenges, Rivian actually saw an increase in its production numbers. The company produced 17,541 vehicles in the last three months of 2023, marking a 7.5% increase from the previous quarter. This production boost pushed the annual total to 57,232 units, surpassing the company’s own forecast of 54,000.

Interestingly, Tesla also revealed its quarterly deliveries this Tuesday, exceeding market estimates and achieving its yearly target.

Earlier in October, Rivian’s stock took a hit due to concerns over its financial health following an unexpected bond issuance. However, the company is still considered to be in a stronger position compared to other EV startups like Lucid and Fisker, mainly because it has managed to steer clear of price reductions for its vehicles, banking on sustained demand instead.

Rivian also recently finalized a deal with U.S. wireless carrier AT&T for its electric vehicles, marking its first major agreement since the end of its exclusive arrangement with Amazon in November.

On the competitive front, some analysts shared this Tuesday that Rivian’s R1T pickup truck, priced at $73,000, might not face significant competition from Tesla’s Cybertruck, which was unveiled in late November.