Rivian begins layoffs amid  billion headache for Amazon and Ford

Rivian begins layoffs amid $19 billion headache for Amazon and Ford

  • Redundancies at EV startup Rivian began this week.
  • The company is cutting costs amid production recovery and concerns about the economy.
  • Former employees are posting on LinkedIn about the cuts, which affected non-production roles.

The layoffs at Rivian began in late July as the electric vehicle startup raced to cut costs amid a challenging economic climate and pressure to increase production.

Dozens of workers who say they are now former employees have confirmed their departures on LinkedIn with the hashtag #rivianlayoffs about the cuts. Rivian said Wednesday that the layoffs will affect about 6% of the company’s 14,000 employees.

Bloomberg News first reported earlier this month that the startup planned hundreds of cuts. These will largely affect departments that are less critical to manufacturing and production, say other reports. A spokesperson from Rivia confirmed that the production roles are not affected.

The moves come less than a year after Rivian’s blockbuster IPO, in which the company raised $11.9 billion — the biggest IPO of 2021. Rivian was a Wall Street darling and was valued at $66.5 billion when it went public. The listing followed a series of EV startups going public, though most did so via reverse mergers with special purpose acquisition companies.

But Rivian’s share price has fallen in recent months amid a major downturn in the financial markets. In the first half of this year, the stock fell 75%, leading to large losses on paper for investors.

Amazon reported a loss of $11.5 billion on its stake between the first and second quarters. During the same period, Ford lost $7.9 billion on its Rivian investment. Together, the two own approximately 27% of Rivian’s outstanding shares.

Rivian began selling its first vehicle, the R1T pickup, last September, beating out older automakers such as Ford and General Motors, which later launched their own electric trucks. After months of delays, the startup expects to start shipping its second consumer model, the R1S SUV, as early as August. It also produces a van for Amazon.

Rivian has struggled with a slower-than-expected production increase this year, delivering 1,227 vehicles in the first quarter and reporting 4,467 deliveries in Q2. The company is targeting production of 25,000 vehicles this year, half of its original 2022 production guidance.

Rivian isn’t the only EV startup affected by ongoing concerns about the economy, supply chain constraints, production delays and more. Insider has previously reported layoffs at EV startup Canoo and electric truck maker Xos Trucks.

“This decision will help align our workforce with our key business priorities, including growing the consumer and commercial vehicle programs, accelerating the development of the R2 and other future models, implementing our go-to-market programs and optimizing costs across the business,” Rivias said spokesperson for Insider on Friday. “We are deeply grateful for each departing team member’s contribution to building Rivian into what it is today. They will always be a part of Rivian’s history and community.”

Are you a current or former Rivian employee? Do you have a news tip or opinion to share? Contact these reporters at astjohn@insider.com or levin@insider.com from a device that is not working.

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