Rivian Tells Employees It Can Build 62,000 Vehicles In 2023: Report
Last week, Rivian released a 2023 production forecast of 50,000 vehicles, double the output achieved last year but below the market’s expectations.
Analysts were expecting Rivian to target a production of 60,000-65,000 vehicles for this year, which partly explains why the company’s stock dropped 10 percent right after the release of the fourth-quarter earnings last week.
However, Rivian reportedly thinks it can do better than 50,000 vehicles in 2023, but it was planning to keep this information to itself. Bloomberg reported that company executives told employees that production of 62,000 electric vehicles is possible this year.
The report cited unnamed people familiar with the matter as saying the information was passed on at an all-hands meeting on March 3 as part of a “production master plan” for 2023.
If the information is accurate, that’s a sizable increase from the 50,000-unit production target Rivian communicated to investors and pretty much in line with analysts’ expectations – according to the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg, Wall Street had anticipated production of 62,797 units for this year.
Meanwhile, Rivian stands by the 50,000-unit production guidance for 2023 – at least in its public communications. A company spokesperson told Reuters the 62,000 figure was said in an internal meeting and was taken out of context. The representative declined to comment on the context in which the number was given or about a company master plan.
When Rivian announced the 50,000-unit production forecast on the Q4 2022 earnings call, it said it expected supply-chain hindrances to continue into 2023, limiting output.
The automaker noted that it will ramp the second shift at its plant in Normal, Illinois as it advances through the quarter to boost production of the R1T and R1S. Rivian’s only plant has a maximum annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles.
The company plans to open a second factory near Atlanta, Georgia, to make its smaller, more affordable R2 series of vehicles. Production is expected to start in 2026, one year later than originally planned.
Rivian shares gained as much as 11 percent after the Bloomberg report went public, closing at $16.92 on March 3. However, the stock still remains below where it traded before the company announced its 2023 production guidance – $17.64 on March 1.