What happened

Popular electric vehicle (EV) start-up Rivian Automotive (RIVN 0.27%) has gotten some extra publicity over the last couple of days. There's a saying that any publicity is good publicity, but that didn't seem to be the case when today's market session began. In early trading, Rivian stock plunged 6% before reversing that drop to a gain of about 4% as of 10:54 a.m. ET on Thursday. 

So what

Yesterday, The New York Times published an article on Rivian that focused on what it called struggles that the company is having in several areas, including production delays. The article highlighted one frustrated customer who has had a promised delivery date pushed back a full year for the company's SUV model. 

row of parked Rivian trucks in parking lot.

Rivian pickups. Image source: Rivian Automotive.

The article also focused on the low-key departure of the company's chief operating officer, and a lawsuit filed by a former sales and marketing executive who is accusing the company of violating California state law against employment discrimination and retaliation. Rivian spokeswoman Amy Mast responded by saying that the company disputes the allegations, and the charges "do not reflect the values and culture of our company. We intend to vigorously defend ourselves against her claims."

Now what

Rivian ended 2021 slightly shy of its 1,200 production target, with just over 1,000 EVs completed. But it has more than 70,000 reservations for its electric pickup trucks and SUVs. It also has the backing of e-commerce giant Amazon, which was an early investor and has ordered up to 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian. 

There are still investors who believe that Rivian can be the next EV company to make them millionaires. Its niche product offerings could be very successful, and its R1T pickup truck was named MotorTrend's 2022 Truck of the Year. Investors will be watching closely to see if momentum has changed related to production when it reports is fourth-quarter and full-year financial results on March 10.