NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — According to a recent report, Normal could overtake Detroit as the U.S. hub for auto manufacturing.
According to an article from The Guardian, investors are on Wall Street believe thanks to Rivian, the Town of Normal is in a position to become the auto industry hotbed in the country.
This comes after Rivian’s decision to go public on the stock market nearly two weeks ago and a valuation of more than $100 billion, more than both General Motors’ and Ford’s individual valuations. It also cites Tesla’s valuation of $1 trillion and the major growth of the electric vehicle industry.
The Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council’s CEO Patrick Hoban said he does not believe Normal would become a “new Detroit” but rather a “new Silicon Valley”.
Hoban said the EV industry is more of a technology-driven industry than manufacturing, and believes Central Illinois has the backbone to support substantial growth.
“If you think about the brain-trust that’s in our community, especially Central Illinois amongst all the university students, but also the industries we already have here; State Farm, Country Financial, these are highly skilled positions on top of the upstart Rivian,” Hoban said.
Hoban said regardless, it’s great for the area to keep receiving attention from national media outlets.
“There’s a huge benefit both to other businesses looking to come to the area, looking to expand, also for site selectors in charge of finding new locations, but then residents and our workforce as well. I mean people have always heard of Chicago, now they’re starting to hear of Bloomington-Normal,” Hoban said.
Rivian did not comment, but a spokesperson said “Rivian continues to grow in Normal and there’s no plans to change that.”
Rivian now employs nearly 4,000 people at its Normal plant.