When did Rivian know that they would miss their production targets?

dortreo

Member
First Name
Michael
Joined
Oct 20, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
5
Location
Boston, MA
First Name
Michael
Vehicles
Subaru Outback
While we can't definitively know what was going on at Rivian at the time, the Rivian S-1 amendment issued on November 5 (with less than two months of production days left in 2021 and just prior to their IPO) claimed a production target, which now seems... a bit off.

"By the end of 2021, we intend to produce approximately 1,200 R1Ts and 25 R1Ss and deliver approximately 1,000 R1Ts and 15 R1Ss." This despite the fact that "as of October 31, 2021, [Rivian] produced 180 R1Ts and delivered 156 R1Ts. Nearly all of these vehicles were delivered to Rivian employees."

So, when did Rivian know that it wouldn't make its production targets? Did the company really believe on Nov. 5 that it could produce 1200 trucks, or an average of 22 trucks a day, by the end of the year?

Unfortunately, there's no way to answer this question that puts a favorable light on the company. Either company management knew it wouldn't make its targets and filed a document with the SEC that said otherwise, or company management didn't know, which suggests serious disconnects or deficiencies (of experience, communication, judgment, etc.). The fact that no VIN numbers were being issued to LE reservation holders outside Rivian suggests that production must have been at a virtual standstill. (VIN numbers are generally issued when a car or truck enters production.) Surely, someone in management would have noticed this little fact.

Unfortunately, a wrongful termination suit which raised concerns about Rivian's "ability to deliver on its promises to investors" suggests that the reality of the situation was apparent to some execs within the company in a timeframe well before the SEC filing. But the company still chose to file a rosy S-1 anyway (and was richly rewarded for doing so.) I wonder why?

I'm not a Rivian hater at all. In fact, I cannot wait to take delivery of my Adventure edition R1S in, say, 2023 to 2024. :) But it's discouraging to watch such a bright and talented company make unforced errors by prioritizing short-term profits over long-term reputation. And to descend into corporate speak and obfuscation ("delivery time adjustment" as a euphemism for delay) when really, a little honest, timely communication is what we need.
Advertisement

 

Tim-in-CA

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2021
Messages
205
Reaction score
389
Location
So Cal
Vehicles
Tesla Model S, Telluride, T-Bird, R1S on Preorder
"By the end of 2021, we intend to produce approximately 1,200 R1Ts and 25 R1Ss and deliver approximately 1,000 R1Ts and 15 R1Ss." This despite the fact that "as of October 31, 2021, [Rivian] produced 180 R1Ts and delivered 156 R1Ts. Nearly all of these vehicles were delivered to Rivian employees."
Intend is the key word in the above statement. Intend ≠ Will ... these documents are written by lawyers who know how to craftily wordsmith them to CYA.
 

metalic5

Well-Known Member
First Name
Gerard
Joined
Dec 10, 2020
Messages
58
Reaction score
95
Location
Miami Lakes, FL
First Name
Gerard
Vehicles
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 1989 Trans Am GTA
Occupation
General Manager - Retail & Warranty
when only a handful of service centers were under construction, with less than 6 months before deliveries were to start.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Guy

Tim-in-CA

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2021
Messages
205
Reaction score
389
Location
So Cal
Vehicles
Tesla Model S, Telluride, T-Bird, R1S on Preorder
Why wouldn’t they hit these numbers? They have thousands of employees who will get the Cars.
Intend gives them wiggle room to hit or not hit ... I believe that they will hit this very low bar target.
 

Atlrivian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2021
Messages
134
Reaction score
360
Location
Atlanta
Vehicles
Grand Cherokee, XC90
when only a handful of service centers were under construction, with less than 6 months before deliveries were to start.
This is the biggest logistical miss for me. Unless their strategy changed fairly late, I think they knew all along waiting for service centers was the plan. And it is much harder to blame service center construction delays on covid. Yes yes I know some places shut down, but in others (Atlanta) there has been much less disruption to the construction industry. They could easily have started the Atlanta service center 6-12 mos earlier and it could have been done by now.
 

Ladiver

Well-Known Member
First Name
Jeff
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
313
Reaction score
523
Location
Ca
First Name
Jeff
Vehicles
GMC 3500, Honda CR-V, Corvette Z06
I bet they hit their delivery goal. It sounds like there are trucks coming off the line every day, for employees. I think they have a lot more employee "orders" than what is being thrown around here. I am sure all employees will get their vehicles first.
 

SeaGeo

Well-Known Member
First Name
Brice
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
2,112
Reaction score
3,721
Location
Seattle
First Name
Brice
Vehicles
Xc60 T8
Occupation
Engineer
This is the biggest logistical miss for me. Unless their strategy changed fairly late, I think they knew all along waiting for service centers was the plan. And it is much harder to blame service center construction delays on covid. Yes yes I know some places shut down, but in others (Atlanta) there has been much less disruption to the construction industry. They could easily have started the Atlanta service center 6-12 mos earlier and it could have been done by now.
yeah, that's not an excuse for not doing TI's on their service centers. We have been about as busy as possible in the construction and engineering industry over the last two years even in the parts of the Country still being cautious about COVID. I suspect they were trying to delay putting funds into capital that isn't working until the last possible minute. That's been my general sense for their ramp up for months. That would also explain why they haven't seemingly stockpiled materials in Normal having known their demand exceeded a year+ capacity for who knows how long.
 

Guy

Well-Known Member
First Name
Guy
Joined
Nov 6, 2021
Messages
78
Reaction score
64
Location
Philadelphia suburbs
First Name
Guy
Vehicles
Mazda 6, Toyota Sienna
Occupation
Scientist
yeah, that's not an excuse for not doing TI's on their service centers. We have been about as busy as possible in the construction and engineering industry over the last two years even in the parts of the Country still being cautious about COVID. I suspect they were trying to delay putting funds into capital that isn't working until the last possible minute. That's been my general sense for their ramp up for months. That would also explain why they haven't seemingly stockpiled materials in Normal having known their demand exceeded a year+ capacity for who knows how long.
What you suggest makes sense that they were reluctant to commit capital (of which now they have plenty). Service centers should have started months earlier as well as the stockpiling of key components. Oh well time lost, hopefully they can accelerate before the onslaught of competition arrives.
 

fromSf

Well-Known Member
First Name
m
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
89
Reaction score
162
Location
Fremont, CA
First Name
m
Vehicles
Lexus Rx450H, Mercedes S class - 2017
what's leading you to believe they won't deliver 1,200 trucks this year?

Look at the poll results, does anyone have 2021 delivery date? So no way they are going to hit 1200 unless all 1200 is going to employees.
 

SeaGeo

Well-Known Member
First Name
Brice
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
2,112
Reaction score
3,721
Location
Seattle
First Name
Brice
Vehicles
Xc60 T8
Occupation
Engineer
Look at the poll results, does anyone have 2021 delivery date? So no way they are going to hit 1200 unless all 1200 is going to employees.
Assume it's all employees and special customers. Whoever the hell those are. And that continues through January.

We've seen plenty of trucks on trucks lately, and there are 9 truck sitting in Bellevue for some reason that's seemingly not a first mile event. Those are going somewhere.
 
OP
OP

dortreo

Member
First Name
Michael
Joined
Oct 20, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
5
Location
Boston, MA
First Name
Michael
Vehicles
Subaru Outback
Don't get me wrong. I really, really want an R1S and really, really want Rivian to succeed. The world needs companies with their philosophy and goals. Without a doubt, by next year, Rivian will be producing an ungodly number of trucks and SUVs a day. And this whole period of "production hell" will be a bad dream.

However, if Rivian continues to miss on even their "intended" promises, it'll only hurt their reputation. And they'll need a good reputation to go against the competition because reputation, like brand, is an asset and a significant contributor to valuation.

But telling forum members, arguably the biggest fans of Rivian, that their trucks will be delivered in November only to change the dates to March-April at the last minute doesn't help with reputation. Putting a production target in an S-1 that may have been unrealistic before it was even filed also doesn't help (no matter whether the wording was "intend" or "will.")

So, here's to hoping that Rivian gets on the same page, communicates clearly, and starts under-promising and over-delivering. Literally.
 
Advertisement

 
Advertisement
Top