Rivian EV plant aims to ramp up production, with 5,000 workers, 83,000 orders and a few missing parts

FILE - This Nov. 14, 2018, file photo shows a Rivian R1T at Rivian headquarters in Plymouth, Mich. Shares in Rivian Automotive are set to trade publicly on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, and the world should get a better idea of just how hot investors are for the electric vehicle market. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

NORMAL, Illinois - As problems go, Rivian CEO and founder R.J. Scaringe believes he has a good one.

The startup EV manufacturer has renovated a shuttered Normal factory, created thousands of jobs, raised billions of dollars and launched production of an electric pickup truck and SUV that have captured the imagination of the automotive world.

But six months after the first R1T truck rolled off the assembly line at the former Mitsubishi plant, Rivian can't build its $70,000 EVs fast enough to satisfy customer demand - or some Wall Street analysts and industry critics. Scaringe cited the simultaneous ramp-up of several different models and the broader supply chain issues roiling the auto industry as hampering production.

"Demand is more than we can produce at peak capacity, which is good, but it's still a problem," said Scaringe, 39, during a recent plant tour.