Despite his company's astronomical valuation, the CEO of Rivian is finding out that, in the world of EVs, when you live by the cultish follower sword, you die by the cultish follower sword.
CEO RJ Scaringe found that out the hard way this week after being forced to admit that the company "broke customer trust" by making changes to pre-ordered vehicles that customers had already agreed to at a different price.
In addition to changing prices, the company announced changes to delivery dates and vehicle configurations earlier this week.
On Thursday, he was forced to backtrack on these changes, and said that the company would "honor original configured price[s] for anyone with a Rivian preorder" as of the company's March 1 pricing announcement, according to Bloomberg.
The company is going to restore original configurations, pricing and delivery timing for customers who pre-ordered, it said this week.
In a letter to customers, Rivian's CEO made the following public mea culpa: “We failed to appreciate how you viewed your configuration as price locked, and we wrongly assumed the announced Dual-Motor and Standard battery pack would provide configurations that would deliver price points similar to your original configuration.”
He concluded: "While this was the logic, it was wrong and we broke your trust in Rivian.”
Shares of Rivian, as of the time of this writing, were down 19.64% on the week, with Friday's session still to play out.
We guess he never got the message: the only person in the EV space allowed to make unfounded claims and change terms and model delivery, pricing and production updates is Elon Musk.