Rivian Automotive is looking at rising concerns over its cash burn, executive churn and consumer demand for its pricey adventure vehicles in the run-up to its fourth-quarter earnings report on Tuesday.
The electric vehicle startup is also facing headwinds from a challenging economic climate as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, increasing the likelihood of a U.S. recession.
The automaker, which was first to launch an EV pickup in late 2021, has fresh competition from the Ford F-150 Lightning and the coming Chevrolet Silverado EV and Tesla Cybertruck.
Its fellow EV startups Tesla Inc. and Lucid Group have resorted to price cuts to incentivize demand, suggesting a more difficult sales climate for luxury EVs.
On the upside, analysts say, Rivian has compelling consumer products with the R1T pickup and R1S crossover. And it has a long-term contract from Amazon to build 100,000 of its electric delivery vans for commercial use.
In announcing layoffs earlier this month, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said the automaker is getting back on track after struggling with supply chain issues and higher production costs.
"In 2022, we took steps to focus our product portfolio and drive a lower cost structure," Scaringe said in an email to employees. "Continuing to improve our operating efficiency on our path to profitability is a core objective and requires us to concentrate our investments and resources on the highest impact parts of our business."
Rivian is expected to post revenue of about $720 million for the fourth quarter on deliveries of 8,054 vehicles, according to Refinitiv data cited by Reuters. Rivian does not break down deliveries by model. The automaker is also expected to post a financial loss similar to its third-quarter number, which came in at about $1.7 billion.
"I still consider Rivian one of the most promising startups out there," said Karl Brauer, executive analyst at iSeeCars.com. "But I don't consider them as promising as they were even a year ago."