Rivian sticks to annual production forecast, posts wider quarterly loss

(Reuters) -Electric-vehicle maker Rivian on Tuesday reiterated its 2024 production forecast, keeping it well below analysts’ expectations, as it focuses on restarting production after a shutdown last month to upgrade its assembly line and reduce costs.Shares of Rivian, which reported a wider first-quarter loss, were down about 2% in after-hours trading.

The company also cut its annual capital expenditure forecast by $550 million to $1.2 billion, as it moved the start of production of its R2 midsize SUV to its Normal, Illinois plant. Analysts were expecting capital spending of $1.59 billion.

In March, Rivian, known for its larger R1S SUVs and R1T pickup trucks, said it would start producing the more affordable R2 vehicles at its existing Illinois factory to speed up deliveries in the first half of 2026 instead of a proposed plant in Georgia. That, it has said, would save the company more than $2 billion in expenses.

The company expects to make 57,000 units this year, while analysts expect Rivian to make 62,277 vehicles in 2024, according to nine analysts polled by Visible Alpha.

In February, Rivian introduced a lower-cost variant of the R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV to drum up demand that has slowed due to high interest rates and customers gravitating to less-expensive gasoline-hybrid vehicles.

The Amazon.com-backed company has been cutting costs by re-negotiating contracts with suppliers and building some parts in-house including its drive unit, dubbed Enduro, to reduce dependency on vendors.

Its transition to new suppliers will help quickly ramp up production of the newly unveiled smaller, less-expensive midsize R2 SUVs, the company had said.

Revenue for the January-to-March quarter stood at $1.2 billion, compared with analysts’ average estimate of $1.16 billion, according to LSEG data.

The company’s net loss widened to $1.45 billion in the reported quarter, from $1.35 billion a year earlier.

At the quarter ended March 31, Rivian said its cash and cash equivalents were $5.98 billion, compared with $7.86 billion in the fourth quarter of last year.

(Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru and Abhirup Roy in San Francisco; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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