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Rivian stock less bruised than Tesla as both miss EV targets

Rivian introduces all-electric pickup and SUV at LA Auto Show in Los Angeles

(This Jan. 3 story has been corrected to fix the period of the reduced production forecast from midyear to March 2022, in the fourth paragraph)

By Paul Lienert and Akash Sriram

(Reuters) - Electric vehicle maker Rivian Automotive barely missed its full-year production target of 25,000 vehicles in 2022, the company said in a filing late on Tuesday.

Before the Securities and Exchange Commission released the filing, Rivian's shares closed down nearly 6% to $17.34, but saw little movement in after-hours trade.

Rival Tesla, which also missed its production targets, had a rougher trading day, as its shares plunged more than 12% to $108.10, then limped along after hours.

Rivian, which halved its initial 50,000 production forecast in March 2022, said on Tuesday that it produced 24,337 vehicles last year at its Normal, Illinois, plant, and delivered 20,332. In the fourth quarter, it built 10,020 and delivered 8,054.

The shortfall in expected production was the latest in a series of setbacks for the young company, which went public in November 2021.

Like other EV makers, supply-chain disruptions have pressured Rivian, which also shelved a plan in December to build delivery vans in Europe with Mercedes-Benz. Rivian earlier pushed back the production startup of its smaller R2 vehicle family to 2026 at the company's planned $5 billion plant in Georgia.

In an email sent to employees on Tuesday, Chief Executive R.J. Scaringe said the company built 25,051 vehicles in Normal but counted only 24,337 as "factory gated" -- that is, cleared for delivery to customers.

More than 700 vehicles at year-end were awaiting parts, software validation, wheel alignment and charging, Scaringe said, and thus "can’t count toward our official figure."

He described the final production tally as "an incredible achievement" while crediting "the commitment and passion of our entire team." Scaringe cited supply-chain issues that closed the plant for 20 days and affected 50 other days, as well as bad weather that closed the factory five additional days.

Rivian's stock has plummeted since it went public just 14 months ago. From a high of around $130 in early November 2021, the company's shares closed Dec. 30 at $18.43 and continued to fall on Tuesday.

Rivian's market value is now below $15 billion, from a high of well over $100 billion just after its IPO.

Rival Tesla's shares tanked on Tuesday after the world's largest electric vehicle maker missed market expectations for fourth-quarter deliveries despite shipping a record number of vehicles.

Tesla shed another $50 billion in value on Tuesday and is now worth $341 billion - down 72% from its $1.24 trillion peak exactly one year ago.

(Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit and Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)