An exclusive agreement between Amazon and Rivian for 100,000 electric delivery vans is reportedly on its way to being scrapped. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Rivian is negotiating its way out of the deal after Amazon asked for only 10,000 electric vans this year, below the electric carmaker’s expectations. The WSJ cited sources familiar with the talks but who can’t speak publicly about ending the deal.
The original plan for 100,000 vans to be delivered to Amazon by 2030 was made in 2019 and buoyed Rivian’s prospects as a viable startup automaker before it delivered its first R1T electric pickup truck. Amazon is Rivian’s largest shareholder and owns nearly 20% of the company, according to reports.
The retailing giant is slowing its growth considerably after multiple setbacks, which has led the company to pause construction of its second headquarters in the Washington D.C. area and lay off about 18,000 workers. Rivian has faced significant headwinds as well. Multiple Rivian executives left the company earlier this year, and its lower-cost R2 platform reportedly has been delayed. The company barely missed delivery targets last year and shares of the company have cratered by more than 60% in the past year.
That said, ending the agreement would allow Rivian to shop its delivery vans to other buyers in a bid to shore up more business to stay afloat. Electric commercial vehicles are expected to boom by more than 30% this year, compared to last year, according to analysts. That would bode well for Rivian to supplement its retail market with commercial vehicles that aren’t tied to Amazon. It’s unclear if Rivian has another interested buyer so far, but it would do well to find one soon. Nearly every major automaker from Stellantis to Ford and Daimler will flood the market soon with electric commercial vehicles.
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