Electric vehicle company Rivian, which plans to build a $5 billion factory in Georgia, continues to shed jobs in an attempt to cut costs and become profitable.
First reported by Reuters on Wednesday, Rivian is laying off 6% of its workforce, which is approximately 840 jobs. It’s the California-based EV startup’s second round of layoffs since July.
Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said in an email that the job cuts would affect teams across the company but would not reduce manufacturing jobs. Rivian joins multiple other automakers, namely Tesla and Ford, by recently announcing job cuts.
“We must focus our resources on ramp and our path to profitability,” Scaringe said in the email, which was obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He also apologized to employees who lost their jobs.
A Rivian spokesperson told the AJC the layoffs do not affect the company’s expansion plans into Georgia, where it plans to build a 16-million-square-foot EV factory that will eventually employ 7,500 workers. The 2,000-acre project site in southern Morgan and Walton counties is currently being graded, and it’s expected to begin production by 2025.
Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
The company operates its sole EV plant in Normal, Illinois, which recently added a second shift to increase its output. Despite that, Rivian reported at the end of 2022 that it came up just shy of its goal to manufacture 25,000 vehicles.
Rivian has struggled with supply chain issues that have vexed many industries and hampered production. At one time, Rivian said it expected to produce 50,000 combined R1T trucks, R1S SUVs and electric delivery vans last year.
Rivian posted losses of roughly $5 billion through the first nine months of 2022, but it had an order book of more than 114,000 as of Nov. 7, the company has said. At the end of September, it also had roughly $14 billion in reserves.
The company’s blockbuster initial public offering in November 2021 has melted away. By Wednesday afternoon, Rivian’s stock value had fallen by more than 90% from its peak.
State and local leaders offered Rivian some $1.5 billion in incentives to locate in Georgia, though local property tax breaks are currently the subject of litigation. Within the past week, a group of residents who oppose the Rivian factory filed additional lawsuits challenging the current excavation being done on the site.
Rivian will announce and discuss its financial information for the fourth quarter of 2022 on Feb. 28.
Cox Enterprises, owner of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, also owns about a 4% stake in Rivian and supplies services to the company. Sandy Schwartz, a Cox executive who oversees the AJC, is on Rivian’s board of directors and holds stock personally. He does not take part in the AJC’s coverage of Rivian.
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