Rivian discontinues its cheapest electric truck option
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Rivian CEO: We're focused on meeting demand 01:32New York (CNN)Rivian has discontinued the Explore Package as an option for its R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV -- meaning the electric vehicle maker is getting rid of its cheapest option.
"We realize this news comes as a surprise and apologize to customers who have had their planning impacted," the company said on its website. The decision was made based on customer demand, it said.Rivian lost $1.7 billion in three months. Here's why that may not be a problemOnly a small percentage of customers chose the entry-level Explore configuration. The vehicles originally came with two packages -- Adventure and Explore -- and the "vast majority" chose Adventure. Customers who opted for the Explore package saved at least $5,500. The Adventure Package, which starts at $73,000, has a premium interior and Gear Guard remote monitoring system and security cables."By focusing on the Adventure trim package, we're able to streamline our supply chain and ultimately deliver vehicles more quickly," Rivian said.Read MoreRivian has a backlog of 100,000 orders, but hasn't been short of controversy lately. It laid off 6% of its workforce last month, citing inflation, high interest rates, and rising commodity prices as factors. And in March, it rolled back price hikes on preordered vehicles after backlash from customers. Something of a Wall Street darling at its launch, Rivian went public nine months ago at $78 a share, one of the largest IPO's ever, and briefly traded above $100. It closed Friday at $34.45.Electric truck maker Rivian laying off 6% of its workforceIts customers who ordered the Explore option can still reconfigure to the Adventure package, cancel their preorder or "do nothing," Rivian said. The package can be reconfigured online, and Rivian said it will provide a new delivery window estimate, noting it will not automatically result in an earlier date. If customers do not take action by September 1, Rivian said it will remove the preorder for the Explorer package from the production queue until they have updated the configuration.Customers who choose to cancel will receive a full refund through September 16th. CNN Business' Matt McFarland contributed to this report. Click Here To Get Funded!