NORMAL – Rivian Automotive plans to hire an additional 800 to 1,000 workers at its Normal plant by mid-2022, the company said Thursday.
The details were part of the company’s announcement of a battery and manufacturing center being developed outside of Atlanta.
It would be the company’s second manufacturing site, after purchasing the former Mitsubishi plant in 2017. The R1T pickup truck, R1S sport utility vehicle, and an electric delivery vehicle are assembled there.
Announcing the project in Georgia, Rivian said plans were underway for a 623,000 square foot expansion at Normal, which will bring the total footprint to 4 million square feet and a capacity of 200,000 vehicles per year. The current capacity is around 150,000 vehicles.
Normal Mayor Chris Koos said Thursday that Rivian’s Georgia expansion is good news for the company and will keep it up to speed with demand.
âIt’s very gratifying to see them go from concept to actual vehicle manufacturing, we are very, very proud of what they were able to do in such a short time,â Koos said Thursday afternoon.
Last week, Koos said the Twin Cities were in talks with other city leaders in central Illinois on how to solidify the region as an engine of economic development. He said Bloomington-Normal can build on recent successes like Rivian and Ferrero, which opened its first chocolate processing plant in North America in October.
âI think there are a lot of factors that Illinois makes sense (to Rivian),â Koos said Thursday. âIt made sense to Mitsubishi years ago. The fact that we have such a good infrastructure, that we have a strong transportation network, that we have an educated workforce – there are just a lot of things here that make it work.
The expansion puts Rivian on the same ground as other global competitors such as GM and Ford, said Patrick Hoban, president and CEO of the Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council.
âFor us, it’s the brand recognition of the company itself,â Hoban said. “Rivian still intends to expand here, so this is not one type of situation. We look forward to their continued growth in Bloomington-Normal and in the state of Georgia.”
The company expects to spend $ 5 billion on the Atlanta area project.
Rivian in a statement said the new plant will eventually employ more than 7,500 people. the the selected site is nearly 2,000 acres in Stanton Springs, about 35 miles northeast of Atlanta.
The Southern California-based electric vehicle startup has researched locations, with reports of possibilities, including sites in Arizona and Michigan, for the plant. Fort Worth, Texas offered a $ 440 million incentive package for the project.
Details of the hiring were disclosed in the company’s earnings report also released on Thursday, which showed a net loss of $ 1.23 billion in the third quarter due to costs related to starting production at its Van. The company said in its first public earnings report since its initial stock offering that it lost $ 12.21 per share for the quarter. Revenue was $ 1 million from deliveries of 11 pickup trucks.
The loss occurred about a month after the Initial public offering of $ 13.7 billion in November.
Rivian said Thursday that net orders for its R1T electric pickup rose to 71,000 on Wednesday.
The company’s shares fell more than 10% to $ 97.94 after business hours, after falling 5.3% during business hours.
The company also said it lost $ 2.23 billion for the first nine months of the year.
Rivian blamed the losses primarily on labor and overhead costs as it ramps up large-scale production at its Normal plant.
âIn the near term, we expect this dynamic – vehicle production significantly below our manufacturing capacity – to continue to negatively impact gross margin as we increase production of the R1T, R1S (SUV). and EDV (commercial van), “Rivian said in a statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Contact Sierra Henry at 309-820-3234. Follow her on Twitter: @pg_sierrahenry.