Rivian’s electric delivery truck may not be exclusive to Amazon for much longer. According to the Wall Street Journal, Rivian is in talks with Amazon to end the exclusivity part of their 2019 purchase deal. The EV manufacturer is reportedly upset that Amazon purchased 10,000 vans this year, which is at the low end of a previously stated range. Rivian would be able to increase its sales by courting new clients as a result of the termination.
The specifics of the planned changes are not known. According to the sources, the discussions are still ongoing.
We’ve reached out to Rivian for feedback. According to an Amazon spokesperson, Rivian is still an “important partner” and the company plans to purchase 100,000 vans by 2030. The agreement has not been altered, according to the company. At the same time, the representative claims that Amazon wants “others to benefit” from Rivian technology because having more electric delivery vehicles in operation benefits everyone.
Rivian’s funds are still dependent on the Amazon pact. The vans presently account for one-third of Rivian’s production volume, helping to boost manufacturing numbers that remain small in comparison to competitors such as Tesla. Rivian produced only 24,337 cars in 2022. Larger van orders would greatly increase production and provide greater financial security as the company ramps up sales of its R1S SUV and R1T pickup, as well as works on its more affordable R2 line.
Rivian still has a sizable cash reserve, due in part to Amazon’s substantial investment in the electric vehicle startup. However, it is still battling to achieve profitability and has gone through two waves of layoffs in the last year to address a difficult economy, increasing costs, and limited access to funds. The company is under pressure to avoid future layoffs, and increased sales will assist.