Rivian is making changes to its leadership team, parting ways with its Vice President of Manufacturing engineering as it continues to try and overcome an “extremely challenging” production ramp due to current industry conditions.
Rivian will part ways with Charly Mwangi, who has been at the company since May 2020. The decision was announced by CEO RJ Scaringe, who informed company employees about the change in an internal email first seen by Bloomberg.
“This is an important time for our growing business, all of which is happening in an extremely challenging environment,” Scaringe wrote in the email. “We are well-positioned for long-term success, but we must continuously evaluate how we operate.”
Frank Klein, who will assume the role of Rivian’s Chief Operations Officer, will start on June 1. Manufacturing engineering and supply chain personnel will both report to Klein when the changes are made.
Rivian has struggled to ramp its new R1T all-electric pickup truck in a timely fashion as market conditions continue to challenge even the most prepared car companies. Once leveled as Tesla’s main competitor, Rivian has seen parts shortages and semiconductor chip quantities fizzle away, making it difficult to complete deliveries of finished vehicles. It appears Rivian may attribute the changes in leadership to an eventual climb in the right direction, hoping to achieve its now-revised target for production in 2022.
“As we ramp production towards our 2022 target of 25,000 vehicles, we are confident these changes will strengthen our ability to more efficiently engage new and existing customers,” Rivian said in a statement.
Scaringe has been skeptical of part suppliers in the past, even hinting that he believes some are withholding products from the automaker due to its startup reputation. “I have to call up semiconductor supplier Y and say this is how many Supplier X gave us and get everybody comfortable because the system’s unproven,” he said. He added that his suspicion of suppliers holding back is “really frustrating.”
Rivian revised its production target for the year from 40,000 units to 25,000 vehicles due to these parts bottlenecks and supply chain mishaps.
Rivian currently still has plans to build a plant in Georgia capable of adding 400,000 units of production annually. The plant has received pushback from local residents and other entities, like No2Rivian, who have said the facility is an environmental liability.
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