Rivian lays off 6 percent of its workforce as it struggles with EV production

As expected, electric pickup manufacturer Rivian is laying off 6 percent of its 14,000-strong workforce in an effort to boost production without raising more funds, The Wall Street Journal has reported. The company has a 71,000 vehicle pre-order backlog for its R1T and R1S electric pickup and SUV, but had to slash its production forecast for 2022 in half to 25,000 vehicles.

Rivian is also concerned about raising cash in the current economic environment. “Over the last six months, the world has dramatically changed with inflation reaching record highs, interest rates rapidly rising and commodity prices continuing to climb — all of which have contributed to the global capital markets tightening,” wrote chief executive RJ Scaringe in a note seen by the WSJ.

With investors like Ford and Amazon having helped it raise $12 billion, Rivian is one of the best funded EV startups out there. However, the company is at a delicate phase, trying to ramp up production enough to finally bring in revenue after building a factory in Illinois. It’s also planning to accelerate development of a more budget-oriented EV called the R2 and build a second $5 billion factory for that model in Georgia.

Another EV startup struggling with production is Faraday Future, which delayed the launch of its first EV, the FF91, yet again. The company said it needs to raise another $325 million in cash to fund operations until the end of the year.