Hot EV Startup Rivian Plans A Second Factory Ahead Of IPO

Hot EV startup Rivian, backed by Amazon (AMZN) and Ford (F), plans a second assembly plant ahead of an IPO. Most EV stocks traded lower.


In addition to electric vehicles, Rivian Automotive’s second factory in the U.S. will build battery cells, sources told Reuters.

“While it’s early in an evolving process, Rivian is exploring locations for a second U.S. manufacturing facility,” Rivian spokeswoman Amy Mast told Reuters on Thursday, without providing further details.

Multiple U.S. states have bid for the plant, which will be announced in a couple of months and with a groundbreaking early next year, the sources said. Documents refer to it as “Project Tera.”

Rivian’s making 100,000 electric vans for last-mile deliveries for e-commerce giant Amazon. It has a manufacturing plant in Illinois.

Its highly anticipated electric trucks and SUVs suffered delays in recent weeks. The launch of Rivian’s R1T, a challenger to the upcoming Tesla (TSLA) Cybertruck, was pushed back from July to September. The R1S was delayed to the fall.

But Rivian got a boost July 20 when its forthcoming R1S SUV ferried Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and other crew members during their recent flight into space aboard Blue Origin’s rocket, while a number of its R1T trucks were also at the landing site.

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Amazon stock added 1.5% on the stock market today. Shares of General Motors (GM) and Ford fell 2.5% and 2%, respectively.

Among EV stocks, Nio (NIO) and Xpeng (XPEV) lost more than 1%. U.S. startups Fisker (FSR) fell 1.28, and Canoo (GOEV) dropped 3.4%.

Tesla, an IBD Leaderboard stock, eased 0.9% to 649.26, below a 675 buy point but still above its 10-week line, according to MarketSmith chart analysis.

In Amazon, Rivian has a deep-pocketed investor. For other carmakers, the cost of new vehicle assembly and battery cell plants can be prohibitive, running into billions of dollars.

That’s led automakers, including GM and Ford, to partner or set up joint ventures with battery manufacturers. Both carmakers have embraced a major shift to electric vehicles, while GM could ditch gas and diesel cars by the middle of next decade.

California-based Rivian could seek a $50 billion-$70 billion valuation for its planned initial public offering in September or as late as next year, reports said.

That could be the biggest IPO ever for an EV stock, with the value possibly topping investor Ford’s.

Find Aparna Narayanan on Twitter at @IBD_Aparna.


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