Rivian Automotive Inc., the Amazon-backed electric vehicle startup, will build a $5 billion assembly plant in Georgia as part of its expansion plans. According to the company, the new plant will employ more than 7,500 people, will open in 2024, and will eventually produce 400,000 automobiles per year, essentially confirming plans previously described in paperwork filed with other states.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced in a statement that the facility will be built on the so-called East Atlanta Megasite. Construction on the plant, which will be located 30 miles east of Atlanta, is expected to begin in the summer of 2022 while production is slated to begin somewhere in 2024, if all goes to plan.
Rivian’s plant in Georgia will be its second, after the one that’s already operational, in Normal, Illinois. The company plans to build plants in Europe and China in the future. Rivian wants to construct at least 1 million automobiles per year by the end of the decade, according to its CEO, RJ Scaringe. The Illinois plant now has a capacity of 150,000 vehicles per year, but it plans to grow that to 200,000 by 2023 as more vehicles are added. According to Scaringe, the R1 range has been sold out till 2023.
While it all sounds good and everything, Rivian is facing some challenges right now, despite its successful launch on the stock market. Just the other day, Rivian posted its third-quarter financial results, revealing a net loss of $1.23 billion. There are positive signs on the horizon though, as the EV manufacturer started to ship its first cars at the end of September and had a revenue of $1 million. Not a lot but it’s still something compared to the previous months.
Rivian made its Nasdaq debut last month in the world’s largest initial public offering of 2021, with a market value of about $93 billion. The company raised over $14 billion in its initial public offering to supplement the $10.5 billion it had raised privately from Amazon. and Ford. Rivian is partially owned by Amazon (20%) and Ford (12%). As supply-chain restrictions, including chip shortages, strike automakers globally, the Irvine, California-based business has battled with the launch of the R1T pickup, R1S SUV, and delivery vans for Amazon. The pickup truck was released in September, and the SUV was released in December.