Electric vehicle maker Rivian to address layoffs while Tesla cuts hundreds of jobs

Chief executive RJ Scaringe is set to address employees at Rivian on Friday

RJ Scaringe, chief executive of Rivian, has told employees the company 'is not immune to the current economic circumstances'. Getty Images / AFP
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Electric vehicle maker Rivian Automotive will brief employees on Friday on potential layoffs and plans to suspend some programmes as part of a broader restructuring, chief executive RJ Scaringe said in an email sent to employees.

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

Tesla chief executive 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 per cent.

In his email, which was shared by the company with Reuters, Mr Scaringe 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 "prioritising certain programmes (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 US plant for $5bn in 2025.

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

Mr 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 per cent at $30.15, while Tesla's shares ended the session marginally lower.

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