Stock in electric truck startup Rivian Automotive was falling Tuesday due to two issues that affect a single key success factor for the company: vehicle production.
Shares of Rivian (ticker: RIVN) fell nearly 2.3% in premarket trading to less than $80 per share. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively.
For starters, investors are upset over the departure of the company’s chief operating officer, Rodney Koops. His profile on the professional networking site LinkedIn said He is retired from Rivian.
That news is hitting the stock because it is a surprise. The company did not make a news release or filing announcing the departure. In addition, Rivian is on the verge of accelerating production of its first product, the R1T pickup truck, at its first production facility in Illinois. Maximizing production is a task any chief operating officer can take care of. It is not known whether anyone has replaced him.
Both Copes and the company were not immediately available to comment on his departure.
Jimmy Knauf is Rivian’s vice president in charge of facilities. He made his debut in November 2021. Charlie Mwangi The Vice President is in charge of Manufacturing Engineering. He joined Rivian in May 2020.
In addition to head of operations departure, The Wall Street Journal Reported That Rivian said it produced about 1,000 vehicles in 2021. In mid-December, CEO RJ Scaring said the company was aiming to make about 1,200 units in 2021. Rivian just fell short.
Production speed is a key factor for investors to watch this year at Rivian. Wall Street expects the company to deliver about 40,000 vehicles. That means increasing production from a handful of units a week to maybe 1,500 a week by the end of the year. Production will go higher from there. Wall Street expects about 100,000 deliveries in 2023.
Rivian’s Illinois plant has a design capacity of approximately 200,000 vehicles.
Rivian stock has had a rough start to the year. Coming into Tuesday’s trading, shares are down about 21% so far in 2022. Rising interest rates have affected all growth stocks. The Nasdaq Composite closed down nearly 4.5 percent.
Rivian stock is now just above its initial public issue price of $78 per share, down about 55% from November’s 52-week high of $180 per share.
Write to Al Root at [email protected]