Amid huge publicity moves including an initial public offering on the NASDAQ exchange and the first deliveries of their all-electric pickup truck, Rivian has hit a speedbump. Their highly anticipated R1S electric sport utility vehicle will not be entering production in December as announced. The first units to be delivered will likely be somewhere between March and April at the earliest. 

According to Reuters, Rivian has begun sending emails to those who had preordered the R1S SUV informing them of the change of delivery timeframe. Some customers received notifications that delivery would be postponed until much later yet with one delivery window recorded as July to September 2022. InsideEVs posted a screenshot of an email received by one customer that mentioned a delivery window for their Launch Edition R1S of June to July 2022. 

Rivian shares dropped 4.5% on Wednesday after the news broke. 

Related: Rivian files for IPO and Goldman Sachs expands automotive portfolio with $110M investment

The delay coincides with reports that Rivian’s R1T production is moving well below the pace required to fulfil their first year’s delivery goal. Initial reports were of two vehicles completed per day, or 10 per workweek. It would not be a leap to assume Rivian wants to get their pickup truck production under control prior to beginning assembly for the SUV. 

It leaves the door wide open for other carmakers to swoop in for SUV customers should their SUVs hit the market first. The Cadillac LYRIQ is expected to begin deliveries in early spring 2022 also, and the Kia EV6, Audi Q4 E-Tron, Subaru Solterra, and other models will be released in coming months as well. With slow production, buyers could shift their focus to carmakers with proven abilities to build and deliver their SUVs.

No co-build with Ford anymore

Last Monday, Rivian’s stock took a double-digit tumble when it was announced that they would no longer be jointly developing electrified models with Ford. Press releases from both carmakers pointed to diverging plans, foregoing the project altogether. However, Ford still holds roughly 12% of Rivian’s shares. 

The statement from Rivian said, “As Ford has scaled its own EV strategy and demand for Rivian vehicles has grown, we’ve mutually decided to focus on our own projects and deliveries. Our relationship with Ford is an important part of our journey, and Ford remains an investor and ally on our shared path to an electrified future.”

At the time the original investment was announced, Ford’s $500 million buy into a startup car company bolstered its credibility instantly and likely played a massive role in getting an IPO. 

Stock slide

When Rivian went public on November 10, it closed the first day at just over $100 – well ahead of the projected $78. RIVN stock price spiked at $179.47 on Nov 16 and has slid since then, closing on Wednesday, Nov 24 at $114.85. 

The company’s valuation sits at $100 billion, making it the third highest-valued carmaker in the world with almost zero deliveries. 

Rivian has been highly regarded from concept to delivery for the R1T pickup, but major delays in production could suppress the stock price significantly in the coming weeks and months. The carmaker needs some good news to turn the tide. In the meantime, pre-order customers are anxiously waiting. 

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