Rivian Automotive Inc. can't make enough of its first consumer product, the R1T pickup, because of supply chain problems that are common across the industry but even more problematic for an electric vehicle startup riding a wave of customer demand.
But the California-based automaker is moving to its next phase of production, with output rising sharply in recent months and its second consumer product, the R1S SUV, ready to launch this summer. Rivian had been making a small number of the SUVs but keeping them for employees only.
"Supply chain and production are ramping!" Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe wrote on Twitter early Wednesday. "We just announced production of 4,401 vehicles for Q2 bringing our cumulative total since start of production to 7,969 — keeping us on track to reach our year-end goals."
Rivian delivered 4,467 vehicles in the second quarter compared with just 1,227 in the January-March period.
The numbers gave an important boost to Rivian's stock price following the Wednesday announcement and some needed credibility to its production forecast of 25,000 vehicles this year. Those are divided among the R1T, R1S and commercial vans for Amazon.
Rivian doesn't break down deliveries by model. But data from Experian showed 2,045 R1T new-vehicle registrations in the U.S. through the first five months of the year and zero for the R1S.
During an April media tour of the automaker's plant in Normal, Ill., the only vehicles present in large numbers were R1T pickups, although there were some completed units of the R1S and Amazon vans. Scaringe said the plant is capable of building 150,000 vehicles a year if it had enough parts, including microchips.