Rivian Automotive Inc. went public with a bang on Wednesday, in the largest initial public offering of the year and the seventh largest U.S. IPO by offer size in nearly 30 years.
priced its initial public offering late Tuesday at $78, well above its expected range of between $72 and $74 a share, up from an earlier range of $57 to $62 a share. Rivian also increased the size of the offering to 153 million shares, from 135 million. The company raised $11.9 billion.
See also: 5 things to know about Rivian
The stock’s first trade was at $106.75 at 1 p.m. Eastern for 10.3 million shares, or 36.9% above the IPO price. It extended gains since then, to trade recently up 38.5% at $108.00.
Rivian, which has big backers such as Amazon.com Inc.
Ford Motor Co.
and T. Rowe Price
funds, is hoping to carve a niche for itself offering all-electric pickup trucks and SUVs, the type of vehicles U.S. residents have favored for decades.
The auto maker started selling a limited number of its R1T, a two-row, five-seat pickup truck, in September. It plans to launch an SUV, the R1S, in December. Wider sales of the truck and the SUV are expected to begin in December and January. Rivian markets its vehicles as “electric adventure vehicles” with prices starting at low $70,000s.
Rivian also plans to make electric delivery vans for Amazon and have its own charging network.
One of the biggest obstacles for Rivian to overcome is the price of its vehicles, said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst with Edmunds. On a recent test, the electric pickup truck mostly performed as claimed, she said.
It also has the advantage of being first to the market, with Ford planning to launch the electric version of its iconic F-150 next year and the Tesla Inc.
Cybertruck entering production next year and hit volume production by 2023.
But “the long-term volume expectations for a $70,000+ midsize truck aren’t very high,” Caldwell said.
It will be challenging for Rivian to compete with the bigger, cheaper Ford F-150 Lightning when it becomes available, and the competition will grow fiercer as General Motors Co.
is also expected to unveil its all-electric Silverado at CES next year, she said.