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EV maker Rivian laying off approximately 840 employees

Cuts will not affect manufacturing operations, according to reports

Electric vehicle startup Rivian (NASDAQ: RIVN) is laying off 6% of its 14,000-employee workforce, or roughly 840 positions, according to reports.

“This decision will help align our workforce to our key business priorities, including ramping up the consumer and commercial vehicle programs, accelerating the development of R2 and other future models, deploying our go-to-market programs and optimizing spend across the business,” according to news organizations citing a company statement.

“We’re deeply grateful for each departing team member’s contribution in helping build Rivian into what it is today. They will always be part of the Rivian story and community.”

Rivian did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The cost-cutting move is aimed at ensuring the company can continue to grow its manufacturing operations without raising additional funds, according to Rivian CEO Robert Scaringe, in an email to the Wall Street Journal. It reported that the company’s sole manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois, will not be affected by the layoffs.

“Over the last six months, the world has dramatically changed with inflation reaching record highs, interest rates rapidly rising and commodity prices continuing to climb — all of which have contributed to the global capital markets tightening,” Scaringe wrote.

Rivian’s stock has steadily lost ground since its first day of trading in November. On Friday, Rivian closed at $34.30 a share, down more than 80% from its high on Nov. 16 of $179.47.

Rivian’s EDV manufactured for Amazon. (Photo: Rivian)

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Rivian’s largest customer and backer, lost $11.5 billion on its Rivian stock investment over the first six months of 2022. That includes $3.9 billion lost on the investment in the second quarter, recorded as a non-operating expense.

The cuts at Rivian follow reports of Xos Trucks cutting 8% of its workforce and layoffs at Canoo, as competition intensifies in the EV market amid signs of a looming recession.

Amazon has started deliveries with Rivian electric delivery vehicles (EDVs), a rollout that “is the start of what Amazon plans to be thousands of EDVs in more than 100 cities by the end of 2022 — and 100,000 EDVs across the U.S. by 2030,” Amazon stated in its second-quarter results.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by John Gallagher.

4 Comments

  1. “Won’t affect production” yeah right. They’re about to crash and burn after laying off crucial people to the company. Somebody up top that doesn’t know how to run an automotive company made these decisions and now they’re going to pay for it.

  2. 14,000 isn’t a very big workforce to begin with. Laying off close to 1,000 employees isn’t a good sign no matter how you try to justify.

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John Gallagher

Based in Washington, D.C., John specializes in regulation and legislation affecting all sectors of freight transportation. He has covered rail, trucking and maritime issues since 1993 for a variety of publications based in the U.S. and the U.K. John began business reporting in 1993 at Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. He graduated from Florida State University majoring in English and business.