Rivian (RIVN) is dropping a shift at its Normal EV plant due to efficiency upgrades

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Rivian (RIVN) is dropping a shift at its Normal, Illinois, EV manufacturing plant next month, but not because of a lack of demand. The EV maker said it could hit its 2024 production goal with one less shift due to efficiency upgrades at the facility.

Rivian plant to lose a shift with efficient EV production

“With our continued improvements in efficiency, we can meet that (57,000) goal on two shifts,” a Rivian spokesperson told WLGT Tuesday.

About 8,000 people work at Rivian’s manufacturing plant, the majority of them hourly employees. The spokesperson clarified, “All hourly employees will be offered a job on one of the two available shifts as we will increase capacity per shift.”

Rivian is reducing its three-shift schedule to two starting April 28. Although it’s unclear if the workers’ hours will change, they will still be considered full-time.

The spokesperson said Rivian “gave hourly employees the opportunity to provide feedback regarding shift patterns and to submit their own shift preference.” Rivian is “assigning shifts based on tenure, preference and operational needs.”

Rivian’s shift change is not out of the ordinary. Automakers often move around shifts to improve efficiency.

Rivian-shift-EV-plant
Rivian production at its Normal, Ill facility (Source: Rivian)

The third shift was added in June 2023, after Rivian added a second shift in Fall 2022. The change will be implemented following the scheduled plant shutdown in April.

Rivian will introduce its highly-anticipated R2 electric SUV on Thursday, March 7. Leaked info through the company’s website shows the R2 will start at $47,000 with up to 330 miles range. Rivian’s R2 will also launch in Europe.

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Rivian R1S (Source: Rivian)

Electrek’s Take

As Rivian announced in November, the planned shutdown will allow for new engineering and supplier changes to lower costs. Rivian expects the upgrades will “meaningfully reduce” material costs as it exits 2024.

With the upgrades, Rivian expects a “modest growth profit” in Q4 2024. Due to the scheduled shutdown, the EV maker expects to build around 57,000 vehicles at the plant in 2024, about the same as last year.

Rivian has already accomplished a ton, with its R1S electric SUV becoming the best-selling electric SUV priced over $70,000 in the US last year.

Rivian was the fifth best-selling EV maker in the US last year. After establishing itself as a true luxury EV brand, Rivian’s more affordable R2 will help it reach new markets.

Source: WGLT

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