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Rivian EV Maker Delays Production of First Two Models

Rivian's production timeline has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, the company said in a customer letter Friday.

Amazon  (AMZN) - Get Report -backed electric vehicle company Rivian Automotive announced that it will delay the deliveries of its debut R1T pickup to September after originally planning to debut this month. 

The company also moved the production debut of its R1S electric SUV, the startup's second planned model, to sometime in the fall after originally slating an August debut for the vehicle. 

“The cascading impacts of the pandemic have had a compounding effect greater than anyone anticipated,” said CEO R.J. Scaringe. “Everything from facility construction, to equipment installation, to vehicle component supply (especially semiconductors) has been impacted by the pandemic.”

The company is seen as one of the next generation car makers that could challenge Tesla Inc.  (TSLA) - Get Report for the electric vehicle crown. 

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Rivian announced a $2.65 billion investment round in January that was led by T. Rowe Price and included investments from Fidelity and Amazon's Climate Pledge Fund. 

Before that, the company had a $2.5 billion funding round in July 2020 that was also led by T. Rowe Price

The Irvine, Calif.-based company has raised more than $8 billion from investors and was valued at $27.6 billion this year. 

Rivian could seek a value of about $70 billion when it goes public, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. 

There were reports earlier this year that the company was gearing up for a public debut and had chosen Goldman Sachs  (GS) - Get Report, JPMorgan Chase  (JPM) - Get Report and Morgan Stanley  (MS) - Get Report as the underwriters for its  market debut.