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3 Things Going for Rivian Right Now

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At a time when a couple of start-up electric vehicle (EV) makers are in bankruptcy restructurings, others such as Fisker are nearing a similar fate, high interest rates are hindering consumers, and the high-end EV market is saturated; there’s plenty of bad news for investors to digest. With that said, let’s dig into a few things Rivian (NASDAQ: RIVN) has going for it.

Retooling success

Investors should have been watching the company’s plant retooling closely, because if it had hit a snag for any reason it would put its already disappointing full-year production guidance in jeopardy. The good news is that the company has already successfully completed a several-week shutdown to retool the plant, which added nearly 600 new or modified robots to enable a more efficient production line.

Rivian is expected to improve production efficiency by 30%, which will be key to the company becoming gross-profit positive by the end of this year — the first step toward profitability. Management noted that based on early indications there is significant progress on R1 vehicle material cost optimization.

Show me the money!

Rivian’s decision to pull the initial R2 production into its Normal, Illinois, factory — rather than wait for its Georgia plant to be completed — accelerated the production schedule and saved the company $2.25 billion dollars. It also prompted an incentive package from the state.

Illinois is providing the EV maker an incentive package worth a total of $827 million. It breaks down into $75 million from its deal-closing fund, $634 million in tax incentives over 30 years, and Illinois will also fund a second manufacturing training academy where the factory is located.

The support from the state will allow Rivian to more quickly bring on employees and bring its R2 to production more effectively.

Generating demand

The company is expecting production and deliveries to remain flat in 2024 as EV demand has nearly stalled, so it’s more important than ever for it to generate incremental demand for its vehicles. That’s exactly what it does with its “demo drives,” which allow potential customers the chance to experience the vehicles and technology. Management notes it has been an effective demand-generation strategy.

During the first quarter, Rivian hosted over 28,000 demo drives, which was a 91% increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2023. Rivian also has 11 spaces to serve as an invitation to potential customers to show off the vehicles. During the first quarter, it hosted over 257,000 visitors, an 8% increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2023.

What it all means

Ultimately, it’s useful for investors to keep in mind that amid all the EV industry pessimism there are plenty of positives for Rivian. The company’s unveiling of the R2, R3, and R3X was well received and the company has the liquidity and cash to survive until the launch of the R2 at the very least. This is all very good news for investors at a time when good news is hard to come by.

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Daniel Miller has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

3 Things Going for Rivian Right Now was originally published by The Motley Fool

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