Rivian Suffers Job Cuts, Factory Exempted

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

I mentioned that Rivian was facing job cuts during today's QOTD, and here's the skinny.

The startup automaker is reducing its headcount by 6 percent, meaning that about 840 of its 14,000 employees will be laid off. However, the plant in Normal, Illinois will be unaffected. More than 5,000 people work there building vehicles.

"Today we announced the difficult decision to reduce the size of the Rivian team by approximately 6 percent. This decision will help align our workforce to our key business priorities, including ramping up the consumer and commercial vehicle programs, accelerating the development of R2 and other future models, deploying our go-to-market programs and optimizing spend across the business," Rivian spokesperson Amy Mast said in a release. "We're deeply grateful for each departing team member's contribution in helping build Rivian into what it is today. They will always be part of the Rivian story and community."

The R2 will be built in Georgia, near Atlanta.

Those let go will get 14 weeks of pay, healthcare through 2022, job-assistance placement, and their planned equity vesting for the next quarter.

CEO RJ Scaringe had already prepped employees for this possibility with a note that included this line: "Rivian is not immune to the current economic circumstances and we need to make sure we can grow sustainably."

That note made the rounds a couple of weeks ago.

Parts shortages have made it tough for Rivian to boost production, though it did increase from 2,553 units in Q1 to 4,401 in the second quarter. Scaringe has said that the company is on track to build 25,000 trucks, SUVs, and delivery vans this year -- about half of what it could do if it could get access to the necessary parts.

The first-quarter earnings report showed that Rivian had around $16 billion in cash and enough funding to spend $5 billion to open the Georgia plant, which is slated to go online in 2025.

[Image: Rivian]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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2 of 16 comments
  • Cprescott Cprescott on Aug 01, 2022

    5k employees to build such a limited number of vehicles? Something is wrong.

  • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Aug 01, 2022

    I just cannot get over the doublegroupthinkspeak BS that comes out of the PR departments.

    What?! No references to “holistic synergies,” or some such twaddle?!

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