Electric vehicle maker Rivian misses quarterly delivery forecasts, shares decline

(Reuters) – Rivian Automotive missed market estimates for fourth-quarter deliveries as intense competition and rising interest rates weighed on demand for its electric vehicles, sending the company's shares down 10% on Tuesday.

The company delivered 13,972 vehicles in the final three months of 2023, 10% fewer than the previous quarter, and below estimates of 14,430, per 13 analysts surveyed by Visible Alpha.

High interest rates in the United States have increased monthly payments for electric cars, making them less expensive and sparking a price war by market leader Tesla.

Amazon.com, Rivian's biggest backer and a big customer, is also not taking deliveries during the fourth quarter because it is focused on the holiday season in this period.

“Holiday schedules will likely slow down deliveries versus production,” said Vitaly Golomb, Rivian investor and electric and autonomous mobility expert.

Rivian produced 17,541 vehicles in the last three months of 2023, an increase of 7.5% from the previous quarter. This brings annual production to 57,232 units, exceeding its expectations of 54,000 units.

Tesla also announced quarterly deliveries on Tuesday, as the company beat market estimates and met its annual target.

While an earlier-than-expected bond issuance in October sent Rivian shares lower on concerns about its financial health, the company is widely viewed as better positioned among electric vehicle startups like Lucid and Fisker.

Rivian has so far avoided lowering the prices of its cars, betting instead on sustainable demand.

Last month, the company signed a deal for its electric cars with the American wireless telecommunications company AT&T, the first after its exclusive agreement with Amazon ended in November.

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The Rivian R1T pickup truck, which starts at $73,000, is unlikely to face significant competition from the Tesla Cybertruck, which was unveiled in late November, some analysts said Tuesday.

(Reporting by Zaheer Kashwala in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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