Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said the EV startup is making progress in the increase of production of electric vehicles at its plant in Normal, Illinois.
The executive delivered remarks about the production ramp-up during a Wolfe Research conference on February 24.
"We're absolutely making progress. The plant is starting to ramp nicely."
Rivian started production of the R1T electric pickup in September 2021 and has built 1,015 vehicles last year, falling short of hitting its target of 1,200 due to supply-chain constraints. Scaringe called the global semiconductor chip shortage the "most painful" constraint in the push to build production.
In a move to boost output, the CEO said Rivian idled the plant for the first 10 days of January to make changes on the production lines.
The 2021 production number includes only a handful of R1S electric SUVs, which Rivian started to produce in December—as of December 15, the company reported delivering two R1S vehicles to customers.
Gallery: Rivian Manufacturing Plant In Normal, IL
During the conference, RJ Scaringe also responded to a question about how big Rivian could become by 2030. As reported by Reuters, he said the company is aiming to take 10% share in the EV market.
The executive said Rivian has the brand position "to build out a portfolio... to allow us to really work toward building a position of 10 percent market share within the EV space."
As things stand at the moment, the main obstacle in Rivian's path is the production capacity. In January, the company was building around 200 vehicles per week, which is nowhere near enough to satisfy the existing demand in a reasonable amount of time. As of December 15, 2021, Rivian had about 71,000 preorders for the R1T and R1S in the US and Canada.
Besides building the R1T pickup and R1T SUV, Rivian has a contract to manufacture 100,000 electric delivery vans by 2025 for Amazon (10,000 of which need to be delivered this year). The online retailer holds a 20% stake in the EV startup.
In addition to global supply-chain constraints and the COVID-19 pandemic, Scaringe said in December that production challenges were caused by a tight labor market and short-term issues around building electric battery modules.