Rivian hit its 2023 production goal. But Wall Street wanted more sales

EV startup expected to soon begin vertical construction on $5B Georgia factory
Clayco was chosen to build Rivian's planned $5 billion electric vehicle factory in Georgia.

Credit: Courtesy of Clayco

Credit: Courtesy of Clayco

Clayco was chosen to build Rivian's planned $5 billion electric vehicle factory in Georgia.

Electric vehicle maker Rivian exceeded its annual production goals, but the number of vehicles the startup delivered to customers in the final quarter of 2023 didn’t meet analysts’ expectations.

The California-based automaker produced 57,232 EVs in 2023, including 17,541 units from October through December. That beat Rivian’s goal of assembling 54,000 vehicles for the year.

But Rivian saw the number of units delivered to customers dip in the fourth quarter, sending shares lower on the first trading day of the new year.

Rivian delivered 13,972 EVs during last year’s fourth quarter, a 10% decrease from the prior quarter. It also fell just shy of the average estimate expected of Wall Street analysts, which Bloomberg reported was about 14,114. By 11 a.m., Rivian stock was $21.14 per share, down about 10%.

The slump in deliveries comes amid growing concern in the automobile industry about consumer hesitancy about switching to EVs. Overall, EV sales grew during 2023 and hit milestones, but adoption lagged industry predictions.

Though based on the West Coast and to date operating one factory in Illinois, Rivian is a key part of Georgia’s emergence as a future hub of EV manufacturing.

Rivian employees meet in the company’s new showroom at Ponce City Market in Atlanta on Thursday, October 19, 2023. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

icon to expand image

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

Rivian expects to begin vertical construction this year on its $5 billion manufacturing plant an hour east of Atlanta, where it will build a new line of crossovers. Company executives also target profitability by the end of 2024, a challenging goal given Rivian has bled more than $1 billion in each of the past nine financial quarters since becoming a public company.

Rivian ended September with $9.1 billion in cash reserves.

During last year’s third quarter, Rivian said it was grappling with an increased number of customers who had ordered one of the company’s vehicles only to change their minds and back out of their reserved purchase. About $452 million in losses came from write-downs on the value of inventory, including canceled orders.

Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe told investors in November that doubt over EV adoption has not swayed his outlook.

“I want to emphatically state just how deeply convicted we are that the entire automotive industry will be transitioning to electric over the next one or two decades,” he said.

Rivian said it will release its fourth-quarter financial results Feb. 21 before holding a call with investors.

Cox Enterprises, owner of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, owns about a 4% stake in Rivian.