Failed electric vehicle (EV) maker Rivian Inc. (NASDAQ: RIVN) found its stock hit again on an analyst downgrade. RBC analyst Tom Narayan took his price target from $28 to $14 and cut his rating from Buy to Hold. He got his wish immediately. The stock dropped to $12.50. It is down 68% in the past year.
Rivian no longer appears to have a chance to be a first-tier or even second-tier EV company. As Tesla posts sales increases, and big car companies flood the market with EVs and invest hundreds of billions of dollars in the sector, Rivian can hardly get vehicles off the production line. It heads toward the car company graveyard, which began to form early in the last century and includes Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Plymouth. (These are the 13 biggest electric vehicle business failures in American history.)
Rivian will release earnings on May 9. They are not expected to be any better than recent numbers. Last year, revenue totaled $1.7 billion. The company lost $6.8 billion. Observers started to wonder if it would run out of cash.
Rivian only produced 10,020 vehicles in the fourth quarter. Worse, it delivered only 8,050. Its pickup has gotten good reviews. However, its base price is $75,000, which puts it well beyond the reach of most pickup buyers. It also faces competition from Ford’s F-150 Lightning. Soon, Tesla will have a pickup as well. Chevy and Ram will have EVs. The largest pickup makers almost certainly will dominate a market they have ruled for decades.
Car companies have gone out of business for decades, although it has been rare recently. Other EV companies, like Lordstown, will not be around long. Neither will Rivian. Like a Delorean, which went out of business in 1982, Rivians will become collector’s items.
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