Rivian lays off hundreds of workers as its struggles create a $19 billion headache for Amazon and Ford

The 2022 Rivian R1T.

The 2022 Rivian R1T.Tim Levin / Insider

  • Layoffs at EV startup Rivian began this week.

  • The company is cutting costs amid its ramp-up in production and worries about the economy.

  • Former employees post on LinkedIn about the cuts, which impacted non-manufacturing roles.

Layoffs at Rivian began in late July as the electric vehicle startup rushed to cut costs amid a tough economic climate and pressure to ramp up production.

Dozens of workers who now call themselves former employees confirmed their departures on LinkedIn with the hashtag #rivianlayoffs about the cuts. Rivian said Wednesday the layoffs would affect about 6% of the company’s 14,000 employees.

Bloomberg News originally reported earlier this month that the startup was planning hundreds of cuts. These will have a big impact on less critical manufacturing and production departments, according to other reports. A Rivian spokesperson confirmed that manufacturing roles are unaffected.

The moves come less than a year after Rivian’s successful IPO, in which the company raised $11.9 billion – the biggest IPO of 2021. A Wall Street darling, Rivian was valued at $66.5 billion when it went public. The listing followed a string of EV startups that went 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 broader downturn in financial markets. In the first half of this year, its stock fell 75%, resulting in heavy losses on paper for its investors.

Amazon announced losses 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 truck, last September, beating traditional automakers like Ford and General Motors, which later launched their own electric trucks. After months of delay, the startup plans to start shipping its second mainstream model, the R1S SUV, as early as August. It also produces a delivery van for Amazon.

Rivian has struggled with a slower-than-expected production ramp-up this year, delivering 1,227 vehicles in the first quarter and reporting 4,467 deliveries in the second quarter. The company is targeting production of 25,000 vehicles this year, half of its initial production forecast for 2022.

Rivian isn’t the only electric vehicle start-up to be hit by ongoing concerns about the economy, supply chain constraints, production delays and more. Insider previously reported layoffs at electric vehicle startup Canoo and electric truck maker Xos Trucks.

“This move will help align our workforce with our key business priorities, including accelerating consumer and commercial vehicle programs, accelerating development of R2 and other future models, rolling out our leveraging programs market and optimizing spend across the business,” Rivian’s spokesperson told Insider on Friday. “We are deeply grateful for the contribution of each team member who leaves us to help make Rivian what it is today. They will always be part of the Rivian story and community.”

Are you a current or former Rivian employee? Do you have a topical tip or opinion you would like to share? Contact these reporters at astjohn@insider.com or tlevin@insider.com from a non-professional device.

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