Rivian again delays delivery, Musk plans bankruptcy

In an email, Rivian informed R1S (SUV) customers that their pre-orders would not be fulfilled by July as planned. Instead, they might have to wait until December. Meanwhile, Elon Musk – surprise surprise – said the company “is going to go bankrupt” unless something changes.

There’s no doubt that Rivian has garnered a lot of attention since it introduced “the world’s first off-road electric pickup truck” in 2018. Some of the hype was recorded as great news for the company, but not all of it.

The latest splash Rivian has made in the EV market more than likely falls into the latter category.

On Tuesday, the company emailed customers waiting for the long-awaited R1S SUV that they should keep waiting. Rivian previously promised to deliver the R1S by June or July. But the email, which some reservation holders reportedly did not receive, pushed back that promise until December.

After first announcing the vehicle and making it available for pre-order in 2019, Rivian unveiled the R1S in late 2021. It then promised first deliveries of the SUV in January 2022. In November, it had already announced the first series of delivery delays.

(Photo/Rivian)

The company attributed the latest blockage to ongoing supply chain issues and its limited service infrastructure. He said he would first prioritize deliveries to areas near Rivian’s few service centers. The company currently operates these facilities in just 14 states, so customers in other regions could face an even longer wait.

“As we continued to navigate a tight supply chain, we had to reduce complexity where possible, including prioritizing certain build combinations over others,” the email said.

The announcement particularly inflamed some buyers in remote areas further away from Rivian’s physical presence. A customer on the company forum ridiculed “[t]irony of an all-terrain adventure vehicle delivered only in major cities.

Rivian’s battery keeps draining

It’s another fly in the ointment for Rivian’s troubled SUV project. Its first production vehicle, the R1T truck, received rave reviews (including from GearJunkie) and helped propel the company into a titanic financial situation. (At one point, with only a tiny amount of production trucks on the road, it inflated to an even more massive valuation than Ford and GM.)

But buyers of the truck and R1S went ballistic in March when the company offered substantial price increases for each vehicle. The announcement sent Rivian (RIVN) plummeting on Wall Street, and CEO RJ Scaringe even said it “shattered the trust” the company had built with its buyers.

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Rivian dropped the price hike for existing customers amid the backlash. But now, faced with the new delivery delay, he is forced to face more PR headwinds. And the fall in stock prices (down 75% since peaking in December at $115 per share) have still not recovered significantly.

Just in time, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took the opportunity to offer a forecast on the company’s future in a podcast on Tuesday.

“Unless something changes significantly with Rivian…they are headed for bankruptcy,” he said. said in the interview with Tesla owners in Silicon Valley.

Elon Musk
(Photo/NVIDIA Corporation via Flickr)

It’s always a little hard to tell what Musk is really up to; does this amount to valuable market insight or a sweep intended to destabilize rival Rivian stock prices?

Potshot or prophecy, one thing is clear: Rivian needs to stop over-promising and under-delivering.

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