Ford has further cut its stake in electric vehicle startup Rivian, and Reuters reports it now has only 1.15 per cent of the company.
Rivian’s stock prices have been hurt by the brand missing – however narrowly – its volume target in 2022 due to supply chain constraints.
It produced 24,337 vehicles, just shy of its 25,000 target. It’s aiming to produce 50,000 vehicles this year.
In an effort to reduce costs, Rivian has announced six per cent of its 14,000 employees will be laid off.
The Blue Oval originally invested US$500 million (A$723 million) into Rivian in April 2019.
The value of this investment grew to US$10.6 billion (A$15.3 billion) when Rivian went public in November 2021, and by the end of 2021, Ford had a 11.4 per cent stake in the company.
Rivian share prices have been trending downward since then, however, losing 82 per cent of their value in 2022.
The company’s stock price peaked in November 2021 at US$129.95 (A$187.91), taking the carmaker to the third spot overall in market capitalisation across publicly listed car manufacturers, behind Tesla and Toyota.
As of last Friday, the share price was US$18.85 (A$27.26).
Ford already wrote down its investment in Rivian by US$7.4 billion (A$10.7bn) in 2022. The year prior, it cancelled plans to build two vehicles – one with a Ford badge, the other a Lincoln – that would have used Rivian’s skateboard platform.
Ford hasn’t been the only big-name backer of Rivian, with Amazon being another of the startup’s key investors.
The e-commerce giant is set to receive 100,000 all-electric Rivian vans by 2030. It’s currently the company’s largest shareholder with an 18 per cent stake.
In 2021, Rivian started deliveries of the R1T, while the R1S followed in 2022.
It’s currently building a new factory in Georgia, set to open in 2025.
The company is planning on a new vehicle range, called the R2, as well as smaller commercial vehicles.
The R2 has been delayed to 2026 as Rivian focuses on its existing R1T, R1S and EDV 700 van, which it says it is now “ramping up production and deliveries” for.
The shuffle of priorities has also seen Rivian’s plans to build vans with Mercedes-Benz paused.