TECHNOLOGY

Rivian to cut staff restructuring, potential layoffs

More bad news for jobs? Rivian staff will be briefed this week on restructuring and potential layoffs at the electric truck manufacturer

Electric vehicle start-up Rivian Automotive will inform its staff on Friday about restructuring and possible layoffs.

It comes as the company plans to suspend some programs as part of a broader restructuring, CEO RJ Scaringe said in an email to staff Monday evening. Reuters reported:.

It’s fair to say that the company has struggled to ramp up production this year, as it faces a significant price drop of more than two-thirds since early January after Rivian lowered its production target for 2022.

Rivian’s R1T electric pickup truck. Image credit: Rivian

Hard times

However, Rivian tried to reassure investors and the markets in May when it said it had enough cash on hand to turn profitable.

The company differentiates itself by supplying the first electric pickup trucks to the US market, but now faces competition from Ford, which has started supplying the first electric F-150 Lightning pickups.

Ford was an initial financier of Rivian, but the two companies have since scaled back their plans to work together.

However, customers have come under scrutiny for the company after it raised prices across the board in an attempt to offset rising costs, causing Rivian to come back and raise prices only on new orders.

Recently, the company faced controversy over changes to the delivery model, which went into effect at the end of April, causing it to prioritize vehicles with specific interior and exterior wheel and color options.

That has resulted in some buyers receiving vehicles earlier than others who placed orders years earlier.

Rivian has also slashed production plans and delayed vehicles as it, like most automakers, struggles with shortages of supplies such as microchips and the raw materials to make batteries.

Laid off

In Scaringe’s email to the company’s staff, shared by Rivian with Reuters, Scaringe said the company is “financially well positioned” but has begun “prioritising certain programs (and stopping) some.” .”

Rivian has also reportedly halted a number of unproductive hires while making “great efforts to reduce costs,” he said.

Scaringe said the company has begun “assessing the size and structure of our teams” and will be “as considerate as possible as we consider any reductions” in the number of employees.

In his employee email on Monday, Scaringe reiterated that the company’s priorities include ramping up production of the R1 electric truck and SUV, as well as the EDV electric van it is building for investor and strategic partner Amazon.

Rivian’s electric delivery van for Amazon. Image Credit: Amazon

Rivian also remains focused on developing the smaller R2 series that it plans to build at the new Georgia plant, Scaringe said.

Regarding the ongoing restructuring and potential layoffs, he told Reuters: “Rivian is not immune to the current economic conditions and we need to ensure that we can grow sustainably.”

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