Friday September 30, 2022

Rivian CEO informs staff that the company is undertaking a major cost-cutting initiative

Rivian, the electric vehicle manufacturer, is planning a major cost-cutting drive. CEO RJ Scaringe sent the memo to employees in response to reports that Rivian was planning up to 700 layoffs, primarily among non-engineering teams. Scaringe wrote the note in response to reports that Rivian planned to lay off 700 people, mainly from non-engineering departments. We had hoped that these sensitive and complex conversations would have been kept within Rivian, so that we could address them more fully. Scaringe will share additional information at an all-hands meeting. Scaringe said that the company is making major cost-down efforts to reduce its operating and material expenses. In a memo to employees, Scaringe stated that while we will always be focused upon growth, Rivian isn’t immune to current economic conditions and that we need to ensure we can grow sustainably. The memo was first reported by Bloomberg. Scaringe said that the company was “financially sound positioned” and that its outlook is strong. He also stated that Rivian would prioritize certain programs and stop others as it restructures the business. Rivian stated earlier this year that it would concentrate on a handful of areas for the moment. TechCrunch reports that Rivian is focusing on increasing production of the R1T, R1S, and electric delivery van. TechCrunch notes that other priorities include building out EV charging infrastructure and service infrastructure, speeding-up development of the next generation R2 platform, and finding efficiencies for operating expenses. However, the company has been plagued by problems such as the supply chain crisis, and the state economy. Rivian has delayed delivery of the R1S SUV multiple times. It expects to eventually build 600,000 vehicles per year between its existing factory at Normal, Illinois and the plant that will open in Georgia in 2024. However, the company predicts that it will produce 25,000 EVs this fiscal year. Rivian had 71,000 EV orders backlog as of this month. Rivian also has a contract to construct 100,000 delivery vehicles for Amazon by end of this decade. Rivian is not able to meet demand right now. A Rivian spokesperson shared the entire memo with Engadget: Hi Team, I’d like to address the news stories about Rivian’s restructuring. These reports focus on many internal discussions and details about the business. I want to clarify that we have been focusing our business to keep up with the changing economic landscape. Our outlook is good and we are financially secure. However, it is crucial that our strategy supports our sustainable growth as our business ramps towards profitability. We laid out our key strategic priorities for the next 18-months earlier this year. 1) Increasing R1 and EDV2) Continuing to increase R2 development3) Keeping our go-to market capabilities up, including our charging infrastructure and service infrastructure4) Optimizing operating costs across Rivian. This has included prioritizing certain programs and stopping others, as well as making major cost-down efforts to reduce material and operating expenses. We began the process to align the entire organization in order to be as focused, agile and efficient as possible in achieving our objectives and priorities. Rivian’s core team is our focus and we are trying to be as thoughtful as we can when we consider any reductions. Rivian’s growth is our constant focus. However, we must be mindful of the current economic conditions and ensure that we can continue to grow. Every decision we make about our team is viewed through the lense of our strategic priorities and not as a way to reduce costs. Our team will continue growing to support our production ramps and product roadmap. This is not how we wanted you to hear it. We had hoped that these sensitive and complex conversations would remain within Rivian until we could address the issues more fully. Because information is being released unofficially, I wanted the opportunity to address it personally. I will be sharing more information at our All-Hands meeting on Friday. Affiliate links may be included in some of our stories. We may earn an affiliate commission if you purchase something through one these links.

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