Rivian hires new chief operating officer amid other leadership and organizational changes

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Rivian has hired a new chief operating officer who will lead the restructuring and alignment of its operations, the automaker said on Thursday.

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Frank Klein will join the company on June 1 as Rivian’s new chief operating officer, who will oversee the automaker’s manufacturing, engineering and supply chain.

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The automaker also said that its head of operations, Charlie Mwangi, is leaving the company, casting doubt on Rivian’s ability to meet its 2022 production target of 25,000 vehicles. The electric car maker built 2,553 vehicles and delivered 1,227 vehicles in the first quarter, which means it must increase production by more than ten times by the end of the year to hit its target.

“Mr. Klein will oversee production, engineering and the supply chain,” Rivian said in a statement. “We are confident that as we ramp up production to meet our 2022 target of 25,000 vehicles, these changes will enhance our ability to to more effectively attract new and existing customers, expand our product range and deepen our relationships with commercial partners.We are committed to maximizing the transition to electrified transportation, adding value to our customers and investors.”

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The Irvine, California-based electric vehicle startup has faced increasing production pressure since launching one of the largest IPOs in U.S. history late last year.

Its first-quarter loss nearly quadrupled as the electric vehicle maker spent money to fight supply chain restrictions and production bottlenecks to bring its R1T pickup and R1S SUV to market and list its commercial EDV electric van on Amazon.

However, Rivian reaffirmed its 2022 production target by phone with investors in May and announced the goal of eventually owning more than 10% of the global market. CEO RJ Scaringe said demand is outstripping supply, with more than 90,000 orders in the US and Canada.

The automaker’s top priority right now is ramping up production at its plant in Normal, Illinois, where it plans to introduce a second shift this summer. Together, the two plants will increase their design capacity to 600,000 vehicles per year.

The company is expected to open a plant this summer where it will eventually build vehicles on its upcoming R2 platform, “a more affordable midsize SUV targeting global markets.” $5 billion facility in Georgia receives state largest $1.5 billion bounty package in history.


Credit: techcrunch.com /

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