Early R2 SUV Orders Give Rivian a Market Edge

Last week, Rivian Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: RIVN)’s shares closed about 2% higher following the launch of its new SUV. Rivian is an electric-vehicle manufacturer and automotive-technology and outdoor-recreation company backed by Amazon.com.

Within hours of its launch, the company received thousands of reservations, which fueled optimism that Rivian could occupy a larger share of the EV market. In a post on X, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe stated that the company had seen more than 68,000 reservations for the R2 SUV.

The vehicle’s starting price is $45,000, and the EV boasts an estimated range of 300-plus miles. Its charging system allows for fast charging with CCS or NACS, which means owners can use Tesla Superchargers or the Rivian Adventure Network. The spacious vehicle also has fold-flat seats and a thoughtfully designed interior.

The company plans to produce its R2 SUV at its American factory while halting construction at its second factory in Georgia, which may save on costs. Compared to its previous forecast, the company projects that pausing the construction will drive additional savings of more than $2.25 billion for the company. In addition, the pause will expedite R2 deliveries to the first six months of 2026.

Emmanuel Rosner, a Deutsche Bank analyst, stated that cost savings will leave Rivian with enough cash on hand through start of production for the R2, which will relieve significant pressure to raise capital in the short-term.

The company announced last week that once R2 production begins, its Illinois plant would produce 215,000 vehicles annually. Rivian manufactures electric delivery vans at the same plant.

Bank of America analysts added that with the launch of the R2, the auto manufacturer could break into the mass-market segment, which makes up almost one-half of total automotive sales in America. In a surprise move, the company also revealed its R3 vehicle and a variant of the same during the R2 launch. The R3 should be launched soon and will be more affordable than the R2.

The announcement comes at a time when the demand for electric vehicles is increasing but at a slower pace than auto manufacturers expected. Prior to the launch last week, the company’s stock had nearly halved in value. Since the launch, its market value has risen by more than $1.7 billion.  The automaker’s market value recently stood at about $12.4 billion.

In other news, Tesla is also looking into more affordable vehicle models, and the launch of the R2 gives Rivian an edge over its more established competitor.

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