[김수종 칼럼] Rivian and Tesla

Advisor Kim Soo-jong. © News1

Another incident occurred on Wall Street on the 10th, heralding the acceleration of the electric vehicle era. Electric vehicle startup Rivian hit a jackpot on the first day of listing on the NASDAQ. The stock, which started with an offering price of $78, surged 29% to close at $106.75. The next day, Rivian rose 22% from the first day to $122.99.

The market capitalization of Rivian was $98.6 billion on the first day of listing, beating GM (86 billion) and Ford (77 billion), and lightly broke through the second day of $100 billion. Rivian became the second-largest carmaker in the United States by market capitalization after Tesla. By the end of October, only 156 electric pickup trucks had been shipped. The Wall Street Journal interpreted this phenomenon as ‘The Glasgow Climate Conference (COP25) is experiencing difficulties in negotiating carbon emission reduction, but investors’ hearts are running towards electric vehicles’.

In the 20th century, American automobiles were synonymous with Ford and GM. All were internal combustion locomotives. Who will succeed this baton in the 21st century electric vehicle era that goes to batteries? Confusing. GM and Ford also declared the elimination of internal combustion engines in preparation for the era of climate change, and several electric vehicle startups have emerged. Nevertheless, in the US automobile market, attention is focused on the fierce competition between Tesla and Rivian.

Pickup trucks and SUVs account for 70% of the U.S. car market. After making a huge hit in listing with the release of the pickup truck model ‘R1T’, Rivian will soon release the SUV model ‘R1S’. Tesla is also drawing attention from the industry as it is due to release an electric pickup truck model ‘Cybertruck’ soon.

As is well known, Tesla is the main character of the electric car blast that caused a sensation when Elon Musk from South Africa released the electric SUV model ‘Roadster’ in 2009. On the other hand, Rivian is a slow-moving company that launched its first car this year after quietly cultivating its skills for 12 years since it was founded in 2009. Although they are the same electric car maker, Tesla and Rivian have different corporate cultures.

Rivian’s founder and CEO is ‘RJ Scaringe’, a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from MIT. In elementary school, he was interested in automobiles to the extent that he carried a tool to fix a broken neighborhood car, and in high school, he dreamed of owning an automobile company. When he entered engineering school, he realized that cars pollute the environment, and his lifestyle changed to be eco-friendly. I walked or used a bicycle to reduce carbon emissions, and I washed my hands without using a washing machine. also vegetarian

Nevertheless, his dream of creating an automobile company continued to flourish. One of his school hobbies was driving a pickup truck and exploring the wild, unpaved desert. He decided to build an electric truck or SUV that runs on batteries, rather than a car that devours fossil fuels and emits air pollution or greenhouse gases.

Rivian, who had not received much attention after founding because of the shadow of Tesla’s momentum, drew the industry’s attention when it introduced the pickup truck model ‘R1T’ and the SUV model ‘R1S’ at the LA Auto Show in 2018. In line with CEO Scaringe’s automotive philosophy, the pickup truck and SUV prototypes that can drive on both paved and unpaved roads received favorable responses from visitors.

With the LA Auto Show as an opportunity, investment and partnership proposals poured in. Amazon, which declared zero carbon, has signed a stake participation agreement to purchase 100,000 electric delivery van trucks made by Rivian by 2030. Investments from BlackRock, Fidelity and Ford Motors followed, and they secured an investment fund of about $8 billion over two years. In early January of this year, Wall Street in New York estimated the market value of Rivian, which had never sold a single car, at about $27 billion, and the New York Times, who saw this, said, “If there is an electric vehicle startup dreaming of a second Tesla, it will be Rivian.” reported that

Tesla and Rivian will compete as rivals not only in the US but also in the global electric vehicle market. Above all, the personalities, automobile philosophy, and lifestyle of the two electric car companies’ CEOs Elon Musk and RJ Scarringe will be compared and talked about in the population.

Rivian’s pickup truck R1T is a Land Rover type designed to run on unpaved roads such as fishing, camping, and desert travel, and is designed to be sturdy and luxurious. In contrast, Tesla’s ‘Cybertruck’ has a strangely angled design that seems to reflect the taste of CEO Elon Musk, and looks like something out of a space movie. It is interesting to see whether the skirmish between the electric car leader Tesla and the chaser Rivian will share the market according to consumer preferences or compete to change consumer preferences.

Elon Musk established ‘Space X’ first, got his hands on the space business, and soon got a Tesla car, and is good at speed warfare and dominance, such as establishing ‘Solar City’, a solar power company. Scarring is a style that proceeds with detail, step by step, like a schoolboy engineer. The American media compared the personalities and images of the two CEOs to the movie characters, which is quite interesting.

Tony Stark, the protagonist of the movie ‘Iron Man’, is said to be an alter ego of Elon Musk. Musk has strong bluffs and showmanship. Twitter is his marketing tool. It raises and lowers stock prices with outspoken comments to tens of millions of Twitter followers. He’s been divorced twice, and he’s been in a relationship with a pop star. Musk’s mother was a popular South African actress.

Scarringe is a character reminiscent of Clark Ghent, the protagonist of the movie ‘Superman’. He wears black-rimmed glasses and resembles Christopher Reeve, who starred in early Superman. Skaringe was born the son of an engineer and does not exaggerate himself. He is a very homely husband who brings his wife and three sons to company events.

Rivian’s corporate culture can be seen from Scarringe’s belief that “We will show our capabilities without rushing to go public and let our performance speak for itself.” The electric car market he sees is not a winner-take-all, but an opportunity for both established automakers and startups.

Elon Musk was born in 1971 and is 50 years old. Scarringe was born in 1983 and is 38 years old. It is interesting to see how the two CEOs, 12 years apart, will change the shape of the electric vehicle market.

Electric vehicles still account for less than 5% of the global automobile market. However, in the era of ‘2050 carbon-neutral’ energy transition that is sweeping the world, the expansion of the electric vehicle market is an irresistible trend. The automobile discourse in the 2020s is likely to be led by ‘Iron Man’ Elon Musk and ‘Superman’ RJ Scarringe for the time being.

The 21st century automobile market is not unique to the United States. I hope that new entrepreneurs who challenge Elon Musk will emerge from various parts of the world, including Korea, China, and Europe. <뉴스1 고문>

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