Rivian strongly believes that electronic vehicles are the way of the future, and this $700 million investment from Amazon is an important milestone for the Normal-based plant.
“It’s very much a validation for our business direction. Amazon clearly looked very closely at our business and they have shown faith in us, which is great,” said Michael McHale, Director of Communications at Rivian.
After Rivian revealed its all-electric R1T pickup and R1S SUV at the L.A. Auto Show in Novemner. McHale says the company’s goal now is to start production.
“I can say we’re on track, for Normal, Illinois. Our production schedule is planned for the end of 2020,” said McHale.
Congressman Darin LaHood (R) Illinois, believes the investment is a huge win for Central Illinois.
“You don’t get that type of investment from a company like Amazon unless you’re a good bet, and clearly Rivian has shown they’re a good bet,” said LaHood. “We as a community need to do all we can, whether it’s in Washington D.C., whether it’s in Springfield, whether it’s here locally, to make sure that they succeed.”
Both Congressman LaHood and McHale believe Central Illinois is the perfect place for a company like Rivian to thrive.
“It’s a really good location, it’s fairly central in the country so it’s good for logistics. Around the area the factory has a good amount of automotive supplies which helps our production schedule immensely. And of course, the plant itself is in really good shape,” said McHale.
“You like at the capacity we have at the facility there, and we could hire lots and lots of people there to build those vehicles,” said Congressman LaHood.
Rivian purchased the former Mitsubishi plant in January of 2017 for $16 million in cash. Currently the company has 50 employees based in Normal. The company’s goal is to take that 50, and turn it into 1,000 employees by 2024.