NYTimes: Rivian I.P.O. Is Embraced by Investors Looking for Another Tesla

John Paul MacDuffie was quoted in a New York Times in a story about Rivian, an electric truck manufacturers who shook the stock market after releasing their first product: a fleet of only 150 pickup trucks, launched after ten years of research and development.

From the article:

In the first day of trading after its initial public offering, Rivian’s stock jumped 29 percent, putting its market value at $86 billion — in line with G.M.’s and higher than Ford’s.

The fevered buying did not come out of nowhere.

The stock market is up 25 percent this year, even with the pandemic’s disruptions. But investors also increasingly believe that the market for electric cars will be enormous — and, for now, they are happy to bet big on companies in the sector that show promise and appear to have credible leadership.

And of course they are hoping to find the next Tesla, a company that is on track to sell nearly a million cars this year and that has captivated the stock market for months with a rally that has lifted its value to $1 trillion.

But Rivian is a long way from proving that it can vastly ramp up its production lines. And a failure to expand fast — as other automakers crowd into the market — could shake investors’ confidence, hurting its financial prospects.

“Anybody who is going to pay a high price in the I.P.O. expecting it to scale fast may be disappointed,” said John Paul MacDuffie, a professor of management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. “A little bit of patience to combine with the excitement is appropriate.”

Read the full article in the New York Times.