Stock in Rivian Automotive is falling fast because it seems the start-up has competition in supplying electric trucks to Amazon.com, one of its investors.
Rivian stock resumed its slide Thursday, falling another 11% to about $80. That’s just a hair above its initial public offering price.
On Wednesday, Rivian (ticker: RIVN) stock closed down more than 11% at about $90.01 a share, while the
fell 1.9% and the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
dropped 1.1%. The market weakened as the minutes from the latest meeting of the Federal Reserve’s rate-setting committee, made public Wednesday afternoon, led to expectations for tighter monetary policy to fight inflation.
But earlier Wednesday, before the Fed news hit stocks,
Stellantis (ticker: STLA) and Amazon (AMZN) had announced a collaboration that was centered on vehicle software. The news release, however, also said Amazon will be the first commercial customer for the Ram Promaster electric van. That puts Stellantis directly in competition with Rivian for Amazon business. Amazon has ordered 100,000 of Rivian’s electric delivery vans as well.
Amazon has been a longstanding Stellantis customer, taking tens of thousands of traditional vans and adding them to its delivery network. Stellantis, it seems, doesn’t want to cede all the EV business to an upstart.
While the news gave Rivian investors a start, Amazon has ordered EVs from other vehicle producers before this. Amazon ordered 1,800 electric delivery vehicles from Mercedes in late 2020.
“We’re excited to collaborate with Stellantis to transform the automotive industry and re-invent the in-vehicle experience,” said Amazon CEO Andy Jassy in the company’s news release. “We are inventing solutions that will help enable Stellantis to accelerate connected and personalized in-vehicle experiences, so that every moment in motion can be smart, safe, and tailored to each occupant.”
Jassy was talking, in part, about the software collaboration. Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, is excited about that, but probably is happy to have the unit sales volume too.
Just how many vans Amazon will take isn’t known. Amazon wasn’t immediately available to comment on its delivery plans. The company says it has 70,000 Amazon-branded vehicles on the roads.
Rivian stock had an incredible start following its November initial public offering. The stock was priced at $78 and traded as high as $179.47 about a week later, although it may have flown too far, too fast. The share price has been nearly cut in half since then.
At about $90 a share, Rivian is still valued at roughly $90 billion, based on its fully diluted share count, which includes things such as management stock options. That is roughly equivalent to the market capitalizations of
Ford Motor (F) and General Motors (GM).
Rivian started producing its R1T electric pickup truck in 2021, but deliveries were minimal. Wall Street expects the company to deliver about 40,000 trucks in 2022.
Write to Al Root at [email protected]