This is exciting news, the official Rivian IPO will happen on November 10th, 2021. Why is this exciting? Well, one good reason is that the IPO can give Rivian an investment in cash that will help it grow to the next stages of the company, delivering EV vehicles to more people. It is exciting to witness (from a distance) a company find a need and develop a product to fulfill that need, and do it well. Hopefully this is what Rivian have done.
Am I hopeful for some surprises from Rivian? Yes I am! So far, they haven't had many surprises to deliver to users. Last month, I was sure that the pre-order holders that came out to Normal, IL to be a part of the first test-drive group were either going to get to complete their order on-site OR even get their vehicle on that trip. That didn't happen. The thing is, they need some surprises if they want to keep up enthusiasm with their pre-customer base, some of which have had deposits down on orders for over two years.
Rivian also needs some good news or surprises to help elevate the stock once it hits the market. Their target price has been increased by 25% since their IPO announcement. This isn't totally unexpected. Ride the wave if you can, Lucid was up 10% today on news that the Infrastructure Bill would be passed, including some incentives for EVs and charging networks to augment the fuel stations for ICE vehicles.
What surprises would I like to see at or just after the IPO? Let's make a list:
- They produced 180 R1T in October and delivered 156 of them, mostly to employees. I'd like to hope they produced anther 40-50 so far in November and can deliver something around 65 to original pre-order customers. That would be exciting!
- I'd also like to see the 10 people that were invited to the first-drive event receive their vehicles. Those would be a great group to document and share with the world what their R1T experience is like. https://stories.rivian.com/lets-just-drive
Now, these aren't surprises, but other things I think Rivian can do to keep their stock elevated as they transition into a startup company that crosses the chasim and becomes a company that can be more than a one-hit wonder. Here are things I think we will see in the future:
- A price increase for the existing R1T and R1S vehicles as-is. I think these are under-priced today. My belief is they will increase in price by 10-15% while retaining the same features.
- New models of R1* have reduced capabilities / features with a slightly lower price-point. Here is where I think the R1T and R1S will have versions released to make them more practical / less extreme. I think these would include a dual-motor R1S and R1T option, base trim levels with optional trims as upgrades, etc. Not everyone needs (especially the R1S) a quad-motor system. If they can manufacture that on the same lines at a reduced cost in parts, it could be a big incremental win for them.
- New technology in the future. This includes battery technology, system voltages and maybe other weight-saving enhancements. This will be a draw for additional customers to jump into the EV space and a reason for existing Rivian customers to upgrade. Remember: Rivian already has designs for a trade-in program that bases value from the vehicle telemetry systems. No surprises that the used Rivian you just bought is really a lemon.
- Additional models with better efficiencies. They have not discussed much about their motor technology and until one is torn apart by Sandy Munro, we won't fully know what they may have planned. It could be great if they have a great dual-motor system that is more efficient on a lighter vehicle or if they have a more efficient motor with less performance, but still gains from the quad-drive system.
- Vehicles based on the same / similar platform, but for unique use-cases. Sedans and cross-overs are popular and being able to deliver a variety of vehicles to meet more of the market demand will help Rivian grow.
Now, let's see what happens on this crazy ride!