Rivian built its first electric R1T production truck in September and depending on where you live, you might’ve already seen a few out on the roads. They’re still pretty rare, mostly because Rivian’s gotta focus on building vans for its biggest investor, Amazon. Manufacturing of the R1T adventure vehicle is reportedly about to pick up, as a source tells Bloomberg that Rivian is aiming for roughly 200 units per week.
Along with prioritizing the battery-powered Amazon vans to hit its year-end goal of 10,000 cargo haulers, Rivian allegedly shut down production at its Normal, Illinois plant at the start of January to make some upgrades. That meant it wasn’t assembling the 50 or so trucks it had been every week at the end of December, though that apparently made higher volume possible. Seeing as Rivian had nearly 56,000 orders to work through when it started production, that’s good news.
The automaker initially promised to complete 1,200 EVs by the end of 2021, though it fell short of that by reportedly closing the year with 1,015 built and 920 delivered.
Limited production of the Rivian R1S SUV has begun, though there are reportedly still tweaks to be made before manufacturing starts en masse. The company made headlines when its first closed-back consumer EV made it into customers’ hands, though the customers were Rivian executives, so I wouldn’t say that counts, exactly. Even still, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the R1S launch in earnest over the next couple of months.
Despite Rivian’s stumbling blocks so far—which are sorta expected, to be honest—it’s still proving profitable for its investors. Stock options are down from its absolutely massive IPO in November, but Ford says the money it put into Rivian yielded an $8.2 billion return during the fourth quarter of last year.
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