Rivian begins layoffs amid  billion headache for Amazon and Ford

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

  • Layoffs at EV startup Rivian began this week.
  • The company is trimming costs amid ramping up production and worries about the economy.
  • Former employees are posting on LinkedIn about the cuts affecting non-manufacturing positions.

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

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

Bloomberg News initially reported earlier this month that the startup was planning hundreds of cuts. These will largely impact departments that are less critical to manufacturing and production, other reports say. A Rivian spokesman confirmed that production reels will not be affected.

The moves come less than a year after Rivian’s blockbuster IPO, which saw the company raise $11.9 billion — the biggest IPO of 2021. A Wall Street darling, Rivian was listed at $66.5 billion valued in US dollars. The listing followed a number of EV startups to go public, although most did so via reverse mergers with special purpose acquisition companies.

But Rivian’s share price has plummeted in recent months amid a broader downturn in financial markets. In the first half of this year, the stock has plunged 75%, resulting in hefty paper losses for investors.

Amazon reported $11.5 billion in losses at its holding between the first and second quarters. During the same period, Ford lost $7.9 billion on its Rivian investment. Together, the two own around 27% of Rivian’s outstanding shares.

Rivian started selling its first vehicle, the R1T pickup truck, last September, beating out older automakers like Ford and General Motors, who later launched their own electric trucks. After months of delays, the startup expects to ship its second consumer model, the R1S SUV, as early as August. It also produces a delivery truck 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 original production forecast for 2022.

Rivian isn’t the only EV startup hit by ongoing concerns about the economy, supply chain constraints, production delays, and more. Insiders 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 ramping up consumer and commercial vehicle programs, accelerating development of the R2 and other future models, launching our go-to-market programs and optimizing spend across the business.” Rivian’s spokesman told Insider on Friday. “We are deeply grateful for the contribution of each departing team member who helped make Rivian what it is today. You will always be part of the Rivian story and community.”

Are you a current or former employee of Rivian? Got a news tip or opinion you’d like to share? Contact these reporters at astjohn@insider.com or tlevin@insider.com from a non-working device.

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