“This is the first step of many, with us being a public company, and now having the opportunity to really accelerate our areas of focus,” Mr. Scaringe said Wednesday in an interview with Bloomberg Television.
Rivian’s upscale pickup truck, the R1T, is aimed at drivers who like off-roading. (“Keep the world adventurous forever,” the I.P.O. prospectus proclaims.) The company plans to start delivering a sport utility vehicle next month, followed by a delivery van developed with Amazon, which owns around a fifth of Rivian. Amazon has ordered 100,000 of the vans.
But Rivian appears to be tamping down expectations. In a recent financial filing, the company said it did not expect to fulfill the 55,400 orders it has received for the truck and the S.U.V. until the end of 2023.
And even if Rivian avoids severe production difficulties — all the more unlikely when global supply chains are strained — the company will face competition on many fronts.
“It’s safe to say that it’s going to be more challenging for this industry in the next three to five years than in the past three to five years,” said Mike O’Rourke, chief market strategist at the brokerage firm JonesTrading.
The contract with Amazon could provide a steady revenue stream. But on the consumer side, Rivian faces competition not just from Tesla, which is developing a truck, but also from automakers that have much experience with mass production. Next year, Ford is supposed to start producing an electric version of its F-150 pickup truck, the top-selling vehicle in the United States. G.M. is expected to soon begin selling an electric GMC Hummer — in both truck and S.U.V. versions — and is working on a Chevrolet Silverado electric pickup.
Consumers may also question whether Rivian will provide service for the vehicles. The company has no dealers and intends to sell vehicles directly to consumers. Tesla uses the same approach, and many customers complain of waiting weeks for parts and repairs. For Tesla owners in Michigan, for example, the nearest service centers are in Chicago and Cleveland.