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Why Rivian still may not be a worthy competitor to Ford or Tesla

Yahoo Finance Live's Brian Sozzi provides his take on Rivian and why the EV maker is still not yet a competitor for Tesla or Ford.

Video transcript


JULIE HYMAN: Shares of Rivian are down over 60% since going public. The company has had a rough year so far, reporting a $1.7 billion loss in the latest quarter, forecasting a wider loss for the entire year. This is where we find Sozzi's take today. And Sozzi, say, Rivian is not on the same level as Tesla. I mean--



BRIAN SOZZI: Yes, yeah, another angry, very angry Sozzi take. Just running roughshod off of various executive teams. They're not getting it done. Now the stock price, like you mentioned, Julie, has been under considerable pressure. So I was thinking, you know, why isn't there, I think, the same excitement around Rivian as there is a Tesla, and of course, Ford, what it's doing in electric vehicles.

And I came up with a couple of reasons here, at least from my fascinating mind. First up, the founder, RJ Scaringe. Now, he's-- there I am in a cool-looking Rivian that was maybe sold at auction for $118,000, like I mentioned in our Stat of the Day before.

So RJ Scaringe, by and large, seen as a true car guy. He founded this company. I was reading a "New York Times" story of a profile on him a couple of years ago. He told "The Times" he was basically spending 5% of his life with his family, so clearly he's all in on Rivian. The problem is, nobody knows who the hell he is. I mean, he's not out there marketing and getting out in front and showing his passion for the brand.

Now, he doesn't have to be over the top like Elon Musk. No, I get it. Doesn't have to do that. But maybe finding some common ground with what Elon is doing and then what Ford CEO, Jim Farley, is doing, who has been giving a lot of presentations recently, selling the sizzle with regards to these electric vehicles. And that is part of the job. We're seeing a massive transition to electric vehicles. And it's going to take a lot of convincing for consumers to get off of their gas guzzling cars.

So you're seeing Ford, Farley out there speaking about it, and Musk doing his thing. And we're not seeing anything at RJ Scaringe, even considering he seems to be a low-key guy based on people that I've talked to. He's got to be out there more in front.

Next up here, marketing of cool products. You do not see really any marketing of Rivian's products. And by and large, this is a cool product. It has gotten very cool reviews. You could open that side panel right there, Julie, and take out a kitchen. And you can cook right out of this truck. And--

JULIE HYMAN: Maybe they should hire you to do the marketing.

BRIAN SOZZI: Yeah, whatever it is. But I can go down right outside our building, and I would pretty much guarantee 10 people never even heard of Rivian. And maybe the one or two people that did had no clue about that really cool feature and maybe a bunch of others in this vehicle. And that's a problem.

And then last but not least here, it's just a little thing. I think the history of the auto industry has really been built on cool sports cars. We saw Polestar come out this week, tease a new electric Polestar vehicle. The Polestar 6 was a two-door exciting sports car. I think Rivian, who has liked-- been out there in recent quarters, touting its cash position, over $15 billion of cash. Let's get an electric sports car out there. Let's sell some sizzle. That was the first car that Tesla led with.

JULIE HYMAN: So I'm not a car guy. So I don't know if they need a sports car there.

BRIAN SOZZI: Oh, OK, so today, you can agree with me. Here's my take.

JULIE HYMAN: I don't know.

BRIAN SOZZI: Time to amp up the sizzle, Rivian. And there I am potentially. Maybe that is the next-- that is the Rivian's first sports car, even though, to me, it does look like a Mercedes convertible. Nonetheless, Rivian, they've got to do a better job. And the stock is acting as if they're going to have a challenging next 12 to 18 months.

JULIE HYMAN: We'll see.