In a year of many stories, Rivian’s was one of the better ones. 2021 saw the fledgling EV maker produce and deliver the first units of its first model, the R1T pickup, thus beating all others to be the first to market with an all-electric light-duty truck.
In the middle of it, the company made a stunning, and highly speculative, IPO last fall.
But all was not smooth on the good ship Rivian in 2021. The company was unable to meet its self-set production target for the year. The plan was to assemble 1,200 vehicles by the end of 2021, but by the time the calendar flipped to the new year, it had manufactured 1,015 of them. 920 of those have actually been delivered to customers.
This may not seem like much of a shortfall, except that when you look at it in percentage terms, it’s a big gap, especially when the volume starts to climb. No manufacturer can sustain falling 20 percent short of production targets.
Last month, Rivian acknowledged it expected 2021 production to fall short of its target by a few hundred vehicles, in part because of the supply issues that all manufacturers are experiencing.
On this point, there’s cause for giving Rivian the benefit of the doubt. Plus, as we've seen elsewhere in the industry, it's often rough going early on for companies when production first gets under way. Early hiccups don’t mean success won’t follow later. Just ask Tesla.
Still, investors are not blind or deaf. Rivian's stock, which made such a splash with the IPO, has been falling in value and that has continued to fall in recent days, to the point where it’s nearly back to the $78 it was to have sat at initially (as of January 10, 2022 it was at $81.44). Recall that on the first day of trading, Rivian’s stock quickly reached $100 and then climbed to a high of $172.01 on November 16.
At of this morning, the stock has rebounded slightly, sitting at $87.63.