Rivian’s electric delivery van may not be an Amazon exclusive for much longer. The Wall Street Journal sources claim Rivian is in talks with Amazon to end the exclusivity portion of its 2019 purchase deal. The EV maker is reportedly unhappy that Amazon ordered 10,000 pickups this year, at the low end of a range mentioned above. The termination would allow Rivian to increase its sales by courting other clients.
The exact terms of the proposed changes are not available. Talks are continuing, sources say.
We have asked Rivian for feedback. An Amazon spokesperson tells Engadget that Rivian remains an “important partner” and still hopes to buy 100,000 trucks by 2030. The deal hasn’t changed, the company adds. At the same time, the rep says that Amazon wants “others to benefit” from Rivian’s technology, since having more electric delivery vehicles in service ultimately helps everyone.
The Amazon pact remains important to Rivian’s finances. Pickup trucks currently account for a third of Rivian’s production volume and are helping drive manufacturing numbers that are still small compared to rivals like Tesla. Rivian only built 24,337 vehicles in 2022. Larger truck orders would significantly expand the company’s production and provide greater financial stability as the company increases sales of its R1S SUV and R1T truck, and works on its more affordable R2 lineup. .
Rivian still has a deep cash reserve thanks in part to Amazon’s heavy investment in the EV startup. However, it is still struggling to reach profitability and has engaged in two rounds of layoffs in the past year to cope with a tough economy, rising costs and reduced access to funds. There is pressure on the company to avoid further cuts, and improved sales will help on that front.
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