SpinDoc7

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Ouch on Detroit. If I had to speculate based on social media posts I’d guess that RJ’s and his wife may also not want to uproot their 3 young sons from the life they’ve built in Cali. Just a guess. But as far as tech advances go the California move also makes sense.

https://www.crainsdetroit.com/manuf...p-most-product-developers-plymouth-california

Rivian, the startup electric vehicle manufacturer that is less than a year from launching its first two vehicles, is planning to transfer most of its engineering and product development staff from Plymouth to its battery systems and vehicle dynamics operation in Irvine, Calif.

Also, some of Rivian's 750-strong Michigan workforce will transfer to the company's Normal, Ill., plant as the company gears up for production.

It's unclear how many employees are moving out of Rivian's offices in Plymouth.

Rivian spokeswoman Amy Mast confirmed some product development staff will be moving out of Michigan, but she said the company plans to keep some functions in its Plymouth facility. Rivian has eight facilities — six in the United States, one in Canada and one in the United Kingdom.


"Of Rivian's 2,300 employees, approximately 1,000 are based in California and 750 in Michigan," Mast told Automotive News in an email. "We are consolidating some engineering teams to our locations in California to improve workflows and reduce environmental impact from travel.

"We've recently completed an expansion at our Michigan location, and it will remain an important presence for us. We are also committed to creating a vibrant and inviting manufacturing presence in Normal, where all Rivian vehicles will be produced. As we grow, we'll keep evaluating and evolving our footprint and geography."
 
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SpinDoc7

SpinDoc7

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Ouch on Detroit. If I had to speculate based on social media posts I’d guess that RJ’s and his wife may also not want to uproot their 3 young sons from the life they’ve built in Cali. Just a guess. But as far as tech advances go the California move also makes sense.

https://www.crainsdetroit.com/manuf...p-most-product-developers-plymouth-california

Rivian, the startup electric vehicle manufacturer that is less than a year from launching its first two vehicles, is planning to transfer most of its engineering and product development staff from Plymouth to its battery systems and vehicle dynamics operation in Irvine, Calif.

Also, some of Rivian's 750-strong Michigan workforce will transfer to the company's Normal, Ill., plant as the company gears up for production.

It's unclear how many employees are moving out of Rivian's offices in Plymouth.

Rivian spokeswoman Amy Mast confirmed some product development staff will be moving out of Michigan, but she said the company plans to keep some functions in its Plymouth facility. Rivian has eight facilities — six in the United States, one in Canada and one in the United Kingdom.


"Of Rivian's 2,300 employees, approximately 1,000 are based in California and 750 in Michigan," Mast told Automotive News in an email. "We are consolidating some engineering teams to our locations in California to improve workflows and reduce environmental impact from travel.

"We've recently completed an expansion at our Michigan location, and it will remain an important presence for us. We are also committed to creating a vibrant and inviting manufacturing presence in Normal, where all Rivian vehicles will be produced. As we grow, we'll keep evaluating and evolving our footprint and geography."
The move was reported earlier by Autoline.
Relocating the product development teams from metro Detroit to California comes as most of the design and engineering work on the company's first two vehicles, the battery electric R1S sport utility and the R1T pickup, is nearly complete.
It also takes place as the company builds up its supplier base with Detroit-area parts makers.
Rivian's second relocation
This is not the first time Rivian has uprooted operations.

Rivian began as Avera Motors in Rockledge, Fla., on the state's east coast in 2009. It took its current name from the Indian River near Cape Canaveral that runs near Rockledge. Rivian moved to Plymouth in 2015, and began work on the R1T and R1S.

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe "believes California is a cool place to be and Detroit has an old technology image," a former Rivian executive told Automotive News. "He thinks California represents tomorrow and Detroit is all about yesterday."

Since moving to metro Detroit, Rivian has hired a cadre of experienced designers and engineers — many from Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. It also has secured around $2.85 billion in financing from Amazon, Ford, Cox Automotive and an array of institutional investors. In December, the company landed a $1.3 billion investment round led by T. Rowe Price.
 

Lmirafuente

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Coast2Coast

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It would be great to know why Irvine? Yes, RJ and family live there, Rivian's battery development and testing center is located there, UC Irvine is located there, and the weather is great, but...it's not really the center of things software in California, and the L.A.-San Diego corridor is crowded and expensive in terms of commercial and residential real estate. None of the major battery suppliers have facilities nearby. It's not so obvious why Irvine.

On the other hand, Southern California is car culture mecca and put that together with software resources which, to be fair, are located up and down the state, even if they're concentrated in Silicon Valley in Northern California. But Rivian does have a facility and presence in San Jose, the urban center of Silicon Valley. So, if Rivian's going to be headquartered in California, Irvine is as good a place as any and a lot better than most. Family and familiarity win out in the end.
 

ElectricTrucking

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It would be great to know why Irvine? Yes, RJ and family live there, Rivian's battery development and testing center is located there, UC Irvine is located there, and the weather is great, but...it's not really the center of things software in California, and the L.A.-San Diego corridor is crowded and expensive in terms of commercial and residential real estate. None of the major battery suppliers have facilities nearby. It's not so obvious why Irvine.

On the other hand, Southern California is car culture mecca and put that together with software resources which, to be fair, are located up and down the state, even if they're concentrated in Silicon Valley in Northern California. But Rivian does have a facility and presence in San Jose, the urban center of Silicon Valley. So, if Rivian's going to be headquartered in California, Irvine is as good a place as any and a lot better than most. Family and familiarity win out in the end.
You did a better job of answering your own question than the rest of us can.
 

Nuclearn8

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Wouldn't put it past Rivian that part of this decision was to position themselves as an alternative to poachmore Tesla engineers who don't want to make the move to Texas when Tesla asks/requires them to relocate to Texas in the coming year for the cybertruck and new gigafactory outside Austin.
 

EyeOnRivian

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Wouldn't put it past Rivian that part of this decision was to position themselves as an alternative to poachmore Tesla engineers who don't want to make the move to Texas when Tesla asks/requires them to relocate to Texas in the coming year for the cybertruck and new gigafactory outside Austin.
At best IMO that would be an accidentally byproduct of the move. Shifting operational departments to different states (ie, long distance) can have some serious blow back most notably with the current employees who may be affected by the relocation. From an Autoline article: "Autoline also said employees were "hopping mad" about the move, citing an unnamed source. "
Also watch the first 1:04 of this Autoline video.
 
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Coast2Coast

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Another advantage of Southern California is its proximity to off-road opportunities found in Arizona, as seen in the To The Max video, not to mention desert California, like Death Valley, and of course Baja Mexico. And wouldn't it be great to see Rivian run some of the mainstream off-roading events!
 

Coast2Coast

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The State of California's passed new laws requiring more zero emission BEV trucks be sold by 2024, all trucks sold be emission free by 2045, and a bunch of intermediate emission targets between 2024 and 2045. The new laws have nothing to do with Rivian's decision to move engineering personnel to and consolidate operations in Irvine, but I wouldn't put it past RJ to want to concentrate talent in California because it has the toughest emissions regulations in the country.

Nothing like being in the eye of the storm to know what it takes to come out on top.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/25/climate/zero-emissions-trucks-california.html
 
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