Rivian stock dips below IPO price as Detroit EVs loom


Shares of Rivian Automotive Inc briefly fell below their IPO price on Thursday in a broader selloff among electric vehicle (EV) makers as the race for market share intensifies with legacy companies ramping up EV production.

Rivian shares fell as much as 16.5% to $75.13, slipping below the debut price of $78 for the first time, before closing the day at $87.33, down just under 3%. 

Other EV makers Tesla, Lucid Group and Fisker also lost ground, with valuation of high-flying tech sector coming under pressure against the backdrop of the Federal Reserve’s hawkish signals. 

The slide in Rivian shares comes a day after one of its biggest investors, Amazon.com, teamed up with carmaker Stellantis.

They will develop cars and trucks with Amazon software and deploy electric vans made by Stellantis on Amazon’s delivery network.

“Amazon has invested a lot of money in Rivian. … That was a key factor for a lot of people in demonstrating this is a viable company that has a product that maybe relatively unique in the marketplace,” Guidehouse Insights analyst Sam Abuelsamid said.

Rivian and Amazon had signed a contract in 2019 to build 100,000 electric delivery vans for the e-commerce giant by 2025. But now the electric commercial vehicle business, a vital market for Rivian, is flooded with more options.

General Motors’s electric commercial vehicle business, BrightDrop, has signed deals with Walmart Inc and FedEx Corp, while Ford is expected to deliver its E-Transit cargo van to customers this year.

Deutsche Bank analyst Emmanuel Rosner said the fall in Rivian shares indicates that investors perhaps assumed Amazon would primarily rely on Rivian vans for its EV fleet and perceived the latest announcement as reducing its opportunity.

Meanwhile, General Motors announced the launch of its electric Chevrolet Silverado pickup and Ford is doubling production of its F-150 Lightning, both pickup trucks that would compete with Rivian’s R1T, at a time it is struggling to stick to delivery dates due to supply chip constraints.

“Investors are probably getting a little spooked by the legacy industry making a comeback,” Abuelsamid said.

Rivian, which still has no discernible sales, is expected to deliver cars to customers this year. Production at its second plant in Georgia, in which it has invested $5 billion, is likely to begin only by 2024.

“It’s still sort of unproven in terms of investability of that as a stock versus some of the other names like Tesla and arguably Ford,” said David Keller, chief market strategist at StockCharts.com.


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