Rivian (RIVN -1.97%) got loads of attention and interest after its recent IPO. And why not? The newly listed company has left the likes of Ford, General Motors, and Tesla behind in launching an all-electric pickup truck. It has also got more than 55,000 pre-orders for its pickup truck and SUV.
Yet, Rivian is at a very early stage, having delivered just 156 vehicles through October. Let's look at where the company and its stock could be five years from now.
Rivian's growth plans
Rivian plans to focus on the pickup truck, SUV, and commercial van market segments in the near term. Its focus geographies initially include the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe. In the long term, the company hopes to grow by entering new key markets as well as developing adjacent products. Rivian has started commercial production of its pickup truck R1T and plans to start production of its SUV -- R1S -- and electric delivery van in December.
Rivian's production facility in Normal, Illinois, has an estimated annual production capacity of 150,000 units. In addition to 55,000 pre-orders for R1T and R1S, Rivian has an agreement with Amazon for 100,000 delivery vans through 2030. However, Rivian expects to deliver all of the vans by as early as 2025.
It expects to deliver its pre-order backlog of 55,000 R1Ts and R1Ss by the end of 2023. Further, Rivian expects to reach an annual production rate of 150,000 vehicles (including commercial vehicles) by late 2023.
If things go as per Rivian's plan, the company would have delivered 55,000 pickup trucks and SUVs, in addition to, say, half of its 100,000 commercial delivery vans by the end of 2023. In five years, it could be producing 150,000 vehicles annually and might already be setting up a new production facility.
What could support Rivian's growth
In addition to broader governmental and regulatory support for EVs, Rivian has some distinct advantages. First, it is targeting the pickup trucks and SUVs segment, which are among the highest-volume and most profitable auto segments. Similarly, e-commerce growth is pushing the demand for delivery vehicles -- another of Rivian's key segments. Logistics and e-commerce companies are transforming their fleets to electric vehicles, anticipating increased regulatory requirements for the same.
Further, Rivian's own charging network may help its growth. Rivian hopes to appeal to its potential customers and build confidence in the brand through its own network of chargers. In sync with the company's offerings, it plans to place chargers at adventurous destinations, in addition to interstates. By the end of 2023, the company plans to install more than 3,500 fast chargers at over 600 sites. Additionally, the company intends to install more than 10,000 level 2 chargers through 2023.
Rivian's direct-to-customer model, with no dealer network, along with its own charging and service network could help it deliver an end-to-end differentiated customer experience. Over time, the company hopes to monetize this through high-value services and subscription opportunities, including membership and software services, financing, insurance, charging, maintenance, repair, as well as Rivian's own resale program.
Finally, the recent interest in Rivian shows that it has already managed to become a known brand without actually spending much on branding.
Is Rivian stock a buy?
All of these factors make Rivian look like an interesting company. However, it is worth noting that these factors could already be priced into the stock. With a market valuation of more than $100 billion, investors are pricing Rivian for perfection.
In addition to execution risks, challenges from competition also need to be considered. As an example, Ford already has nearly 200,000 reservations for its upcoming electric pickup truck, F-150 Lightning. Similarly, upcoming electric pickup trucks from Tesla, General Motors, and several others will further heat up competition for Rivian. Rivian still needs to prove that it can deliver vehicles profitably and scale up production as planned.
Overall, though Rivian looks promising, its stock price could already be reflecting that. Investors will get more updates on the company's progress when it releases its third-quarter results on Dec. 16.