Rivian to address layoffs, Tesla to cut 229 jobs


FILE PHOTO: The logo for electric vehicle company Rivian is seen on the hood of its R1T all-electric truck in Mill Valley, California, U.S., January 25, 2020. REUTERS/Nathan Frandino/File Photo

(Reuters) — Electric truck maker Rivian Automotive will brief employees Friday on potential layoffs and plans to suspend some programs as part of a broader restructuring, Chief Executive R.J. Scaringe said in an email sent to employees Monday evening.

Separately, electric-car maker Tesla Inc will permanently shut its office in San Mateo, California, and will lay off 229 employees, a filing showed Tuesday. They were working on the company’s Autopilot driver-assistant system.

Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk last month told top managers he had a “super bad feeling” about the economy and that the company needed to cut staff by about 10%.

In Scaringe’s email, which was shared by the company with Reuters, he said, “Rivian is not immune to the current economic circumstances and we need to make sure we can grow sustainably.”

The company, he said, is “financially well positioned,” but that it has begun “prioritizing certain programs (and) stopping some.”

Rivian had $16 billion in cash at the end of the first quarter and has told investors it had enough cash on hand to open its second U.S. plant for $5 billion in 2025.

FILE PHOTO: A Tesla logo is seen in Los Angeles, California U.S. January 12, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Rivian also has halted some non-manufacturing hiring, while “adopting major cost-down efforts” to reduce expenses, he said.

Scaringe said the company has begun to “assess the size and structure of our teams” and will be “as thoughtful as possible as we consider any reductions” in employee head count.

Rivian’s stock closed up about 1% at $30.15, while Tesla’s shares ended the session marginally lower.

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