Rivian and Lucid in the red, Xpeng in the green and in the footsteps of Tesla?

Automakers Reveal First Quarter 2022 Financial Results Xpeng saw quite the opposite. Something to scare European manufacturers with the strengthening of its presence in Europe.

The American Rivian, to whom we owe the excellent Rivian R1T pickup, sold 1,227 vehicles during the first quarter of 2022 and produced 2,553. If we take into account the turnover over the same period ($95 million) and the cost of production ($597 million), we arrive at 156,418 dollars of loss per vehicle. It’s a lot ! And this is undoubtedly one of the reasons that prompted Ford to sell 400 million Rivian shares. But there is still the giant Amazon, investor and customer of the brand through the electric van.

At Lucid Motors, it’s not necessarily better. The American manufacturer of the luxury sedan Lucid Air announces that it has sold 360 copies of the car for a turnover of 57.7 million dollars. Lucid does not indicate the number of vehicles produced over the same period, but The Sauerkraut Garage the estimate at 800 copies. Which gives, in total, a loss of $147,222 per vehicle.

Note that these figures only take into account the cost of production, and not all the operating costs related to the company such as research and development and all other costs (administrative, marketing, etc.). It is obvious that a start-up company loses money at the beginning, because of the investments made to be able to produce its first vehicles. To get a clearer picture of where Rivian and Lucid find themselves, we can compare to Tesla, but also to the Chinese Xpeng which launched on the market in 2018 and which will strengthen its presence in Europe this year with the P5.

Tesla: a special situation at launch

When the Model S launched in 2012, Tesla managed to raise $23,114 for each Model S produced. A totally different situation from that of its two American competitors. However, it is necessary to qualify since Tesla was not at its first vehicle produced: the Californian brand had a little more experience, thanks to the Roadster based on the Lotus Elise.

We remember that Tesla didn’t go far from bankruptcy when it launched the Model 3 since Elon Musk had said that the company only had 1 month of cash left at the worst of this ” production hell as the businessman described it. In 2022, the situation is quite different with a record first quarter for the company.

Xpeng: in the footsteps of Tesla?

The Chinese company Xpeng allows us to make another comparison with its American competitors. The company (of which Xiaomi is one of the investors) launched the Xpeng P7 in 2020 with first deliveries to its Chinese customers during the summer of that same year. Since then, the company has experienced real success, with 34,561 vehicles delivered during the first quarter of 2022, for a production margin of 12.2%, meaning that the company does not lose money on the production of its P5s (launched late last year) and P7. Moreover, the production of the P7 was profitable from the third quarter of 2020, only a few months after the first deliveries.

But once again, it is necessary to qualify: the Xpeng company has existed since 2014 and launched the production of its first car, the G3, an electric SUV, at the end of 2018. Financial data available since the 3rd quarter of 2019 report a negative production margin which only became positive from the 3rd quarter of 2020. Regarding the past quarter, Chinese company continues to lose moneyif we take into account all the running costs of the company.

It is therefore difficult to predict the future for all these manufacturers, but the example of Tesla must make them envious: the American company has been making continuous profits since 2021 after having experienced a few profitable episodes in previous years. The road is therefore still long for Rivian, Lucid Motors and Xpeng.

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