(Reporting by Abhirup Roy in San Francisco and Bhanvi Satya in Bengaluru; Preparing by Mohammed for the Arabic Bulletin) Editing by Shilpi Majumdar and Bill Berkrot
Scaringe, CEO of Rivian, has direct responsibility for product development
Nov 20 (Reuters) – Rivian Automotive (RIVN.O) said on Monday that CEO RJ Scaringe will directly oversee all product development effective immediately as the electric carmaker prepares to unveil and launch its family of smaller, cheaper vehicles.
Chief Product Development Officer Nick Kaligian will move to executive vice president of vehicle and propulsion engineering before moving into an advisory role, the company said.
Rivian is ramping up production of its flagship R1S sports car and R1T pickup truck, even as fears of slowing demand for electric vehicles spread across the industry, and is set to unveil the R1 vehicles next year with production expected in 2026.
“It’s a big year for the Rivian product, so RJ is redoubling its efforts to introduce our new technologies in 2024 and design and develop the R2,” a Rivian spokesperson told Reuters. “Nick will advise until 2024.”
Rivian said the company’s product reporting structure will include software, autonomy, design, vehicle, electric, propulsion and software categories.
“I want to stay as close to our product development as possible,” Scarring said in an internal email seen by Reuters, adding that the quality and reliability teams would now report directly to him.
Earlier this month, Rivian raised its annual production forecast, banking on continued demand for its trucks and SUVs — a departure from rivals suffering from the double whammy of rising inflation, which has dampened buyers’ appetite, and price cuts at flagship Tesla. In the market. (TSLA.O).
Last month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he was concerned about expanding factory capacity amid rising interest rates, echoing caution from General Motors (GM.N) and Ford (FN).
Shares in Rivian, which are down about 8% so far this year, were largely unchanged in after-hours trading.
“I know that (Scaringe) spending more time working with our product teams will create significant value for all of us and our shareholders,” Kaligian, who joined Rivian in 2020, said in another internal email seen by Reuters.
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