Tuesday Ticker: Bullish analyst downgrades Rivian; Mercedes-Benz opens Canadian raw materials office

Toronto, Ontario ⁠— In this weekly Tuesday Ticker, Rivian sees a 76 percent downgrade from a known bullish market analyst; an advocacy group questions Uber’s average pay in Toronto and Mercedes-Benz opens a raw materials office to pursue EV battery mineral sources. 

Reluctant on Rivian

Shares of Rivian Automotive have fallen 10 percent since Mar. 31, with the most recent drop enabled by a known-to-be-bullish analyst’s downgrade on the automaker’s stock. 

Alexander Potter of Piper Sandler reduced his Rivian price target by 76 percent last week⁠—from US$63 per share to US$15. 

Potter cited market conditions and the OEM’s widening losses for his downgrade.

“In order for RIVN to justify its cost structure, the company must spread its investment over millions of units (like Tesla), and in order to finance such aggressive expansion, RIVN will need capital,” wrote the brokerage Piper Sandler. “In this market, frugality matters more than ambition.” 

As of Monday at 11 a.m. ET, shares of Rivian traded at US$13.99, down 63.42 percent in the last 12 months and down 19.35 percent year-to-date. 

The average Uber driver’s wallet

Toronto-area Uber drivers earn an average of $7.90 per hour once costs associated with using personal vehicles are deducted, according to a January report from advocacy group RideFair TO. 

The report estimates that the cost of using personal vehicles amounts to at least $12 per hour when fees for fuel, car insurance and maintenance are measured out. Excluding these expenses, the average wage for a Toronto-area Uber driver is $20 per hour. 

When the report was covered in Toronto’s The Globe and Mail, Uber said the numbers do not align with what drivers are seeing. In December 2022, the company said drivers in the Toronto area make a median wage of $33.98 for an hour of “engaged time”, i.e. time they spend driving passengers around or making deliveries. RideFair TO’s $20 wage accounts for both engaged time and unpaid time spent waiting 

Ontario’s minimum wage was $15.50 per hour when the report was made. As of April 1, 2023, the minimum wage in the province is now $16 per hour. 

Mercedes-Benz and mines

Mercedes-Benz has opened a raw materials office in Canada, Automotive News Canada reported last week.

The new office opened on March 1 and will put the company in “daily contact” with stakeholders while it works on building relationships with North American miners, said Chief Technology Officer Markus Schafer. 

The location of the new office has not been revealed, but a spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz Canada said the OEM has “made clear its significant interest” in exploring closer collaboration with the Canadian automotive value chain.


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