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The Wall Street Journal

May 16, 2022, 5:45 p.m. EDT

Rivian warns price dispute with seat supplier could impact Amazon van order

Ryan Felton

Electric-vehicle startup Rivian Automotive Inc. is suing a key supplier of seats, warning that a pricing dispute could impact production of an electric van ordered by Amazon.com Inc.

Rivian (NAS:RIVN) in March sued the supplier, Ohio-based Commercial Vehicle Group Inc., accusing it of violating the supply contracts for seats by nearly doubling an initially agreed-upon price per unit, according to records filed with a Michigan court.

Commercial Vehicle Group, a publicly traded auto supplier, denies the claims, saying in court filings that it wasn’t contractually obligated to the lower price and raised it only after Rivian submitted multiple engineering and design changes.

Rivian specified in the lawsuit that there is no alternative supplier for the custom-designed seat packages for the electric van and it could take well over a year for it to find another vendor.

Rivian warned that if Commercial Vehicle Group stopped delivering the seats, the EV maker would face an imminent shutdown of its van production, which is just launching, according to the documents filed in Wayne County Circuit Court in Detroit. Rivian has an order for 100,000 vans from Amazon (NAS:AMZN) , an  early investor in the startup  holding a roughly 18% stake.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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