Six days ago, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock dropped in response to comments from would-be rival Lucid Motors (coming public via special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Churchill Capital Corp IV (NYSE:CCIV) soon), whose CEO Peter Rawlinson boasted that his company's new "Air" electric vehicle would be more efficient than a Tesla Model S and steal away $900 million in sales that might otherwise have gone to Tesla.
Tesla stock dropped on this reminder of increased competition, so I guess it makes sense that today, we're seeing Tesla stock rise in response to news than some other competition is falling further behind in this race.
As CNBC first reported late last week, and as Tesla fan site Teslarati re-reported today, construction delays and supply-chain disruptions from the pandemic have forced electric-truck upstart Rivian to delay deliveries of its ballyhooed R1T electric-pickup truck until September.
Now the good news for Rivian is that it seems to be prioritizing production for its marquee customer Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and still plans to put a first installment of 10,000 electric Amazon vans on the road "as early as next year." But the good news for Tesla is that, with Rivian focusing on keeping its most important customer happy, Tesla won't have to compete with a new electric-pickup truck for a few more months now.
This is really unalloyed good news for Tesla. I mean, Amazon had already tapped Rivian to build a total of 100,000 electric-delivery vans for its armies of parcel-toting delivery drivers. This wasn't business Tesla was going to win away even if Rivian had to delay production of these vans.
Where Tesla can still compete in the electric-truck (as opposed to the electric-car) market is on sales to individual consumers, and that's the competition that has been pushed back a bit by Rivian's production delays.
Granted, there's still Ford, General Motors, and a whole host of other would-be electric-car companies all coming down the pike. For the time being, though, today's news was good enough to help lift Tesla stock 2.2% by the closing bell.