Rivian Begins Layoffs Amid $ 19 Billion Headache for Amazon and Ford

  • Layoffs at EV startup Rivian began this week.
  • The company is cutting costs amid its production ramp-up and concerns about the economy.
  • Former employees are posting on LinkedIn about the cuts, which impacted non-manufacturing roles.

Layoffs at Rivian started in late July as the electric vehicle startup races to cut costs amid a challenging economic climate and pressure to increase production.

Dozens of workers who say they are now-former employees have confirmed their departures on LinkedIn with the hashtag #rivianlayoffs about the cuts. Rivian said Wednesday that the layoffs would impact about 6% of the company’s 14,000-person workforce.

Bloomberg News initially reported earlier this month that the startup was planning hundreds of cuts. These will largely impact departments less critical to manufacturing and production, other reports say. A Rivian spokesperson confirmed manufacturing roles are not affected.

The moves come less than a year after Rivian’s blockbuster IPO, in which the company raised $ 11.9 billion – the largest IPO of 2021. A Wall Street darling, Rivian was valued at $ 66.5 billion when it went public. The listing followed a series of EV startups that went public, though most did so via reverse mergers with special purpose acquisition companies.

But Rivian’s share price has plummeted in recent months amid a wider downturn in financial markets. In the first half of this year, its stock tumbled 75%, leading to hefty on-paper losses for its investors.

Amazon reported losses of $ 11.5 billion on its stake between the first and second quarters. During the same period, Ford lost $ 7.9 billion on its Rivian investment. Together, the two own roughly 27% of Rivian’s outstanding shares.

Rivian began selling its first vehicle, the R1T pickup truck, last September, beating out legacy automakers like Ford and General Motors, who subsequently launched their own electric trucks. After months of delays, the startup expects to start shipping its second consumer model, the R1S SUV, as early as August. It’s also producing a delivery van for Amazon.

Rivian has struggled with a slower-than-anticipated ramp-up on production this year, delivering 1,227 vehicles in the first-quarter and reporting 4,467 deliveries in Q2. The company is targeting production of 25,000 vehicles this year, half of its initial production guidance for 2022.

Rivian is not the only EV startup to be impacted by ongoing concerns about the economy, supply chain constraints, production delays, and more. Insider previously reported layoffs at EV startup Canoo and electric truck-maker Xos Trucks.

“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,” the Rivian spokesperson told Insider on Friday. “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.”

Are you a current or former Rivian employee? Do you have a news tip or opinion you’d like to share? Contact these reporters at astjohn@insider.com or tlevin@insider.com from a nonwork device.

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