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Rivian's Stock Takes a Hit as Ford Appears Set to Dump Shares

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When fledgling EV maker Rivian went public last November, it was a wild ride. The stock launched at $78 and had nearly doubled in the first few hours as speculation fever took hold.

The stock price soon stabilized, but so far this year, things aren't going well for the company as it looks to make its mark in the electric vehicle sector. Rivian’s fragile situation is due in good part to its difficulties in delivering the quantity of models expected, a situation complicated by the microchip crisis and parts supply difficulties.

The result is a drop of about 70 percent in the value of Rivian stock since the beginning of this year. This week, it continued its downward slide on news that Ford was preparing to sell some eight million of its shares in Rivian.

And the timing is no accident. It coincides with the end of the period when the company's early investors and insiders could not sell their shares after their purchases in the company's IPO. It is in this context that CNBC reported last weekend that Ford intends to get rid of eight million of its shares in Rivian. The U.S. giant once owned 102 million shares but had recently reduced its stake.

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Ford still has a significant stake in the company, but analysts are noting a certain hesitation on the part of the auto giant. The manufacturer has not commented on the new report. A spokesperson told Car and Driver magazine that Ford was not commenting on anything related to Rivian, including the information reported by CNBC.

The news did have devastating effects for Rivian, however. Its stock lost some 15 percent to a low of $24. And there are more storms ahead: CNBC reports that JPMorgan Chase will also sell between 13 and 15 million shares. Rivian is scheduled to release its first quarter results on Wednesday.

We will, of course, be watching this situation closely.