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Rivian loses $1.45B as cost-cutting measures continue

Image Credits: Rivian

Rivian lost $1.45 billion in the first quarter, showing that its recent company-wide, cost-cutting measures have a ways to go before it can approach profitability.

The EV-maker brought in $1.2 billion in revenue in the period, coming in just under its record haul from the prior quarter, according to its first-quarter earnings report that was released Tuesday after markets closed. That’s slightly more than the $1.16 billion expected by Yahoo Finance analysts. Rivian’s revenue grew 82% from the $661 million it generated in the first quarter in 2023.

Still, that wasn’t enough to initially assuage shareholders. Rivian’s shares fell more than 4% in after-hours trading.

Some cost-cutting relief is on the horizon.

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Rivian recently finished up a weeks-long shutdown at the Illinois factory where it retooled and changed parts of its manufacturing process. Those upgrades should lower the cost of production and speed it up, according to the company. Rivian said it integrated “nearly 600 new or modified robots” that will make the existing production lines “run more efficiently.”

The company’s decision earlier this year to shift production of its next-generation SUV, the R2, away from a planned factory in Georgia to its existing facility in Illinois, is also reaping rewards. Rivian has previously said it would save $2.25 billion by making the move, which will bring R2 production online earlier.

In its Q1 earnings report, Rivian said it now expects to “be able to significantly reduce the capital expenditures required to launch R2.” The company has lowered its capital expenditures guidance to $1.2 billion, a reduction of $550 million. Those savings don’t include the recent $827 million incentives package Rivian received from the state of Illinois.

Rivian is also looking at other revenue opportunities beyond selling EVs. The company plans to open its charging network, which is branded Rivian Adventure Network, to other EVs. The company said its Rivian Adventure Network can become a “profit center over time.” Opening the network also makes Rivian eligible for federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the company noted in its letter to shareholders.

The Q1 revenue figure, while showing growth year-over-year, reflected a somewhat tepid sales quarter. The company reported in April it produced 13,980 vehicles and delivered 13,588 of them in the first quarter of 2024. Both of those figures are down from the fourth quarter of 2023, where it built 17,541 and shipped 13,972.

Rivian reaffirmed on Tuesday that it plans to make around the same number of EVs as it did in 2023.

Rivian had an eventful first quarter that included a splashy reveal of its future R2 and R3 EV lineup as well as more belt tightening and layoffs. In February, Rivian laid off 10% of its workforce as the EV startup tried to rein in costs. This was the third round of layoffs for the EV company since July 2022, when Rivian cut 6% of its workforce. The company cut another 6% of jobs in February 2023.