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BigE

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I’m in GA for a few days so I took the opportunity to go by Rivian’s new plant to see what the progress is. I was here 1 yr ago and they just had signs posted and a few pieces of heavy equipment.

Fast forward to this weekend. It’s hard to gain prospective in a drive by as several roads were blocked off. This is a vast piece of land. From the little I could see, there is a lot of working going on clearing and excavating, lots of utility work being built as this is a very rural area, so looks like they are bringing in high power lines and building very large substations. I think Rivian has had some delays, but I am surprised they are only this far along. For a comparison, Tesla built the Austin plant and had started building models Y’s I think by the 25th month after ground breaking.

I was able to find a good drone video on YouTube which shows the current state of the GA plant.



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They had to stop construction for some time due to the local lawsuits about land use.
 
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Originally it was 2025 and now 2026 due to the lawsuits. As someone mentioned earlier Rivian are slower than others at building the factory.
 
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BigE

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It does look like a massive area they have cleared. I’ve followed Tesla’s Austin plant and it appeared to be more concentrated and now they continue to expand and grow while the plant is running. Hopefully Rivian has a great contractor running this design and build.
 

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I said it before and I will say it again...the decision to build this plant from scratch was a huge error, possibly even catastrophic to the company. Should have bought an existing plant and repurposed. Don't have this kinda time....
 

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I said it before and I will say it again...the decision to build this plant from scratch was a huge error, possibly even catastrophic to the company. Should have bought an existing plant and repurposed. Don't have this kinda time....
You make an interesting point and this is exactly what they did with the old Mitsubishi plant. I’m curious about the criteria for suitability and more important the availability of an existing idled facility.
 

SANZC02

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You make an interesting point and this is exactly what they did with the old Mitsubishi plant. I’m curious about the criteria for suitability and more important the availability of an existing idled facility.
I think the experience with the amount of rebuilding and expanding the Normal plant to fit their needs was part of the reason to build from scratch. It is faster to build a new house than rebuild an old one.

Certainly would have been better to build where there was not as much “NIMBY” resistance though.
 
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BigE

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I said it before and I will say it again...the decision to build this plant from scratch was a huge error, possibly even catastrophic to the company. Should have bought an existing plant and repurposed. Don't have this kinda time....
I’d argue the opposite. Tesla built the Austin plant in far less time than Rivian took to rebuild an old plant. Look at home building…you can build a new house faster than doing a gut job rebuild on an old house.
 

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Retrofitting would have been a mistake; and Rivian has plenty of experience in this arena in normal that has no doubt informed their decision to start from scratch.

there’s really no way state government lets this project fail because of a couple of yokels hollering about their ruined rural ambiance.
 

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I said it before and I will say it again...the decision to build this plant from scratch was a huge error, possibly even catastrophic to the company. Should have bought an existing plant and repurposed. Don't have this kinda time....
I’ve been involved in a project that retrofitted a car parts factory to a steel mill, and a number of other type factories retrofitted to food manufacturing, as well as new construction. My experience is there is little difference in total time, and sometime the retrofits take longer.

The time and money spent doing the partial demolition and retrofit, plus the time in upgrading necessary infrastructure, can take as long or longer than the site work and new building construction on large projects like this.

Finding an existing site for a factory this size and scope is no easy task, and mat be in the wrong strategic location in today‘s world.

Example - no new businesses want to open in California…..
 

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I’ve been involved in a project that retrofitted a car parts factory to a steel mill, and a number of other type factories retrofitted to food manufacturing, as well as new construction. My experience is there is little difference in total time, and sometime the retrofits take longer.

The time and money spent doing the partial demolition and retrofit, plus the time in upgrading necessary infrastructure, can take as long or longer than the site work and new building construction on large projects like this.

Finding an existing site for a factory this size and scope is no easy task, and mat be in the wrong strategic location in today‘s world.

Example - no new businesses want to open in California…..
I hope this is all true. Because I speculate by the time R2s are going to come out of that plant, it will have viable products from every major automotive manufacturer to compete with and certainly won't be first to the segment, like with the R1's.
 

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Certainly would have been better to build where there was not as much “NIMBY” resistance though.
That’s the issue right there. An old plant is already built. There is less risk in the schedule from permits, lawsuits, etc.

Many old plants are in union areas, and Rivian doesn’t want a union. They also want sweetheart tax brakes. Finally, until recently low interest rates meant Rivian could blow a ton of money trying to puff up to a larger size. Those three factors explain the strategy to spend on a brand new factory.
 

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I think that the video you posted was actually an "anti Rivian" one right? Isn't the stink about erosion or water run off with that fine fine red Georgia clay?

So have they "filled" the Normal plant? That is, do they have room to start an R2 line there and then move it or replicate it in GA when that plant is ready? I assume at the very least they could be producing motors and batteries in Normal for the R2s in GA and ship them down there so all they have to make is the frame/body/interior line initially and then they can move stuff over as available.
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