IPTV65

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Interesting read on the broad impact Rivian is having on a town in rural America. Definitely a feel good story but we need more "feel good" these days. It's not just about cars of course and it's not isolated to Normal. Also shows how the $70K plus we are spending benefits others.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/24/cars/rivian-illinois-town/index.html





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LoneStar

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that's cool :like:
 

BeanEW

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Great story and make American strong!
 

Canthoney

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Interesting story also told from satellite imagery, in 2016 the workers in Normal sent a sad message to anyone watching from above....
Screen Shot 2021-03-24 at 1.22.45 PM.png


Then in 2019 this appeared....
Screen Shot 2021-03-24 at 1.24.30 PM.png
Man..... this hit me hard. I’m so happy to hear how Rivian has brought back hope to this community. I’m not crying, you’re crying 😭😭
 

BigE

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If Rivian succeeds, and I believe they will, they will only be the 2nd New American Auto company (Tesla being the 1st) in 100 years! Being from the midwest, I love what they have done in Normal, IL!
 

DuckTruck

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What a great story for Rivian and Normal! As I have little better to do, I took a closer look at the 2019 pic of the parking area. I'm guessing they must have leased it out to another manufacturer, or, more likely, a local dealer, as many of those cars look identical.

Nonetheless, it was fun to see them update the 2016 message to those above.
 

skyote

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I'm guessing they must have leased it out to another manufacturer, or, more likely, a local dealer, as many of those cars look identical.
I think I remember hearing that it was a bunch of VW or Audi buybacks from Dieselgate.
 

DuckTruck

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I think I remember hearing that it was a bunch of VW or Audi buybacks from Dieselgate.
That would make perfect sense. It would also be poetic justice, given how that fine family of vehicles cheated the system, and the world. As they used to say, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!” And now, as part of their penance, they’re tasked with building a portion of the system of charging that will allow us to move around the country without one bit of particulate coming from our vehicles.

It’s actually a nice chapter in that factory’s history that it was born to produce fun and efficient sports cars. I remember the unique partnership that brought it to life. When I first met my wife, she was driving one of the Jeep-Eagle Talons that came from the now-Rivian Mothership. I believe they also built the Mitsubishi Eclipse and a Plymouth Laser right there under the Tri-Star Motors name. That Talon was a driver’s car, even in the FWD version she owned. That she had it had nothing to do with the attraction to her, but it was a pleasant revelation when I soon found out that she also loved fun cars.

One of the first dates we had was a Sunday drive to the Oregon coast and back on the same route that Rivian’s first video escapade followed. Out the Sunset Highway (U.S. 26) from Portland to the coast, up U.S. 101 and across the mouth of the Columbia River on the four-mile span named the Megler Bridge and into Washington. I’ll never forget all of the early-dating small talk along the way. Even the comfortable, non-awkward periods of silence were a nice pre-cursor of the great relationship that was starting back then.

Before I met her and while I was living and working in Southeastern Idaho, one of my annual sojourns was to to drive or fly back to Portland for the annual Portland Auto Dealers’ Association Car Show every Winter. One of those trips was specifically to check out the all-wheel drive Jeep-Eagle variant that my boss drove in Idaho’s snowy Winters. In reading all I could find about that car, the story always brought me back to the unusually-named, ear-catching town of Normal, Illinois.

Long story short (I know, too late), it means a lot to me that Rivian has saved that factory and, maybe, that town, and that maybe that town and it’s people have given life to Rivian. It’s an American company, fulfilling the dream of an American kid (I’m 63 and can say that about RJ), to build an American Dream Machine that I call “The Four-Wheeled Fountain of Youth”.

I lost my wife four and a half years ago, and the spark that started the day I read about Rivian (the same day I put down my deposit) was one of the first things since her passing to make me sit up and take notice of how the world was changing for the better in my lifetime. My family and friends are greatly amused by my fascination with cars, and quietly question why I would need another. While all of the others have a place in my heart, I think my enthusiasm for the Rivian, it’s uniqueness, and the electrification of mobility that Rivian is part of, is starting to resonate with them. It really doesn’t matter, because it resonates with me.

I’ve said it before in one of the many threads here, but I feel the same sense of Adventure with the Rivian as I did when my parents gave me my first ten-speed bicycle for Christmas. I remember riding it around town on Christmas Day, even though it was a chilly day. It didn’t matter. It doesn’t matter now. The thought of being part of a new age of exploring the world using electricity excites me. I’ve always enjoyed taking backroads that I didn’t know existed when cramming a two-hour drive into ten hours by meandering (you’re not surprised, right?) left and right, and back over there in an effort to see it all. To be able to see new places and old ones in a different way is what makes Rivian special. At least for me.

If you’re still with me at this point, step away from your computer or put your phone down, and go hug those that you love. Life is grand, but it’s also short. Make the best of it and enjoy every second. I know I will.
 

DynoSaur

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Interesting story also told from satellite imagery, in 2016 the workers in Normal sent a sad message to anyone watching from above....
Screen Shot 2021-03-24 at 1.22.45 PM.png


Then in 2019 this appeared....
Screen Shot 2021-03-24 at 1.24.30 PM.png
This. Awesome.
 

ja_kub_sz

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@DuckTruck I 100% share your passion on this one. It still makes me smile thinking about it each passing day.

Normal and Rivian means so much to so many, and I personally felt overly compelled to preorder a Rivian as soon as they started taking deposits.

My first love (my Model S) was such a funny thing between my one true love and I, my wife. When we first started dating she was fascinated by my Model S, and for a woman that never took to, or gave notice to flashy things, she learned early on whilst our dating about my love of cars and all things Tesla and how sad I was getting rid of my Model S back in 2017. In her own words it was the first thing she knew about me, for better or worse, that I drove a Tesla.

We ended up meeting on a whim when I was relocated for work about 100 miles away from my home in the Chicago suburbs out where she worked and lived. I then started my own business shortly thereafter and was driving 33k miles a year sometimes up to 130 miles between locations and over 300 miles in a day. My 90D Model S would no longer suffice and sadly the one "actually cool" thing I had in her eyes I had to get rid of. She still kept me around though, and I thanked her for it.

Over our years together and trips to her family's almost 100 year old farm just west of the Normal plant, I remember her parents first telling me because I was a "car guy" and "not the best with directions" I'd have to get off at the Mitsubishi exit, which I could easily remember.

That Mitsubishi exit even without a working factory still meant something to everyone out there. Something important if not so much in the present then absolutely in the past. Work matters to a lot of people out there beyond just the causal sense of it being something you do. It was a great deal of peoples identify, something people took pride in, just as my wife's family were farmers and into rodeo, people used to be Mitsubishi workers, and they'd quickly tell you about it when given the chance. A good part of what you did out there was a reflection of who you were. "The End" as they put hit so many people hard following the closing of the plant, but the exit (and plant) still was something to be proud of and identify with. That pride not only survived but is what's shinning right now.

As soon as I heard of Rivian buying that Mitsubishi plant, let alone a 400+ mile EV I felt like it was almost beyond fate. My soon to be wife at the time happily gave me the go ahead to order the R1T and the rest is history in the making.

Life has a funny way of running you in a great big circle, and although you don't feel like you know what's ahead, you certainly never forget where you've been and whom you shared that space and time with. Rivian, and stories like these bring you back some place special and make you feel like you used to, and I too remember a little more clearly those first few dates with my wife reading your story and talking about Rivian.

It's more then a car to a lot of people, and that's a great thing!

Thank you for sharing your story.

0615191901_HDR_20190617163628874.jpg
 
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DuckTruck

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@DuckTruck I 100% share your passion on this one. It still makes me smile thinking about it each passing day.

Normal and Rivian means so much to so many, and I personally felt overly compelled to preorder a Rivian as soon as they started taking deposits.

My first love (my Model S) was such a funny thing between my one true love and I, my wife. When we first started dating she was fascinated by my Model S, and for a woman that never took to, or gave notice to flashy things, she learned early on whilst our dating about my love of cars and all things Tesla and how sad I was getting rid of my Model S back in 2017. In her own words it was the first thing she knew about me, for better or worse, that I drove a Tesla.

We ended up meeting on a whim when I was relocated for work about 100 miles away from my home in the Chicago suburbs out where she worked and lived. I then started my own business shortly thereafter and was driving 33k miles a year sometimes up to 130 miles between locations and over 300 miles in a day. My 90D Model S would no longer suffice and sadly the one "actually cool" thing I had in her eyes I had to get rid of. She still kept me around though, and I thanked her for it.

Over our years together and trips to her family's almost 100 year old farm just west of the Normal plant, I remember her parents first telling me because I was a "car guy" and "not the best with directions" I'd have to get off at the Mitsubishi exit, which I could easily remember.

That Mitsubishi exit even without a working factory still meant something to everyone out there. Something important if not so much in the present then absolutely in the past. Work matters to a lot of people out there beyond just the causal sense of it being something you do. It was a great deal of peoples identify, something people took pride in, just as my wife's family were farmers and into rodeo, people used to be Mitsubishi workers, and they'd quickly tell you about it when given the chance. A good part of what you did out there was a reflection of who you were. "The End" as they put hit so many people hard following the closing of the plant, but the exit (and plant) still was something to be proud of and identify with. That pride not only survived but is what's shinning right now.

As soon as I heard of Rivian buying that Mitsubishi plant, let alone a 400+ mile EV I felt like it was almost beyond fate. My soon to be wife at the time happily gave me the go ahead to order the R1T and the rest is history in the making.

Life has a funny way of running you in a great big circle, and although you don't feel like you know what's ahead, you certainly never forget where you've been and whom you shared that space and time with. Rivian, and stories like these bring you back some place special and make you feel like you used to, and I too remember a little more clearly those first few dates with my wife reading your story and talking about Rivian.

It's more then a car to a lot of people, and that's a great thing!

Thank you for sharing your story.

0615191901_HDR_20190617163628874.jpg
o
ja_kub_sz,

I thank you for sharing your story! I got teary-eyed as I followed it. I recall our first interaction after catching your tale of yelling out “Normal!” when RJ asked the crowd in NYC where everyone was from. I’m so envious of the encounter that happening led to. Your recall of how inclusive RJ, his family, and team were to you that evening cemented my belief that this Adventure is very special, indeed.

It made it all the better to learn even more about your deep connection to Normal through your lovely wife and her family. It’s amazing sometimes to look back on how the littlest things led us to where we are today. While it’s completely logical, it often feels serendipitous when looking back.

The rich detail in your story tonight adds a robust context to the history of how Mitsubishi impacted the people of Normal, from the birth of the plant, through its peak, and ultimately, its closure. It was also wonderful to hear the twists and turns that brought you there, and to meet and marry your wife. I hope the loss you felt when the Tesla went away disappears as soon as your Rivian arrives.

If the factory tour and pickup becomes a reality, I’d love the chance to stop by and visit with you two before hitting the road home to Oregon. In the meantime, enjoy the Spring and let’s keep in touch.

Thanks again and be well!
 

ja_kub_sz

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ja_kub_sz,

I thank you for sharing your story! I got teary-eyed as I followed it. I recall our first interaction after catching your tale of yelling out “Normal!” when RJ asked the crowd in NYC where everyone was from. I’m so envious of the encounter that happening led to. Your recall of how inclusive RJ, his family, and team were to you that evening cemented my belief that this Adventure is very special, indeed.

It made it all the better to learn even more about your deep connection to Normal through your lovely wife and her family. It’s amazing sometimes to look back on how the littlest things led us to where we are today. While it’s completely logical, it often feels serendipitous when looking back.

The rich detail in your story tonight adds a robust context to the history of how Mitsubishi impacted the people of Normal, from the birth of the plant, through its peak, and ultimately, its closure. It was also wonderful to hear the twists and turns that brought you there, and to meet and marry your wife. I hope the loss you felt when the Tesla went away disappears as soon as your Rivian arrives.

If the factory tour and pickup becomes a reality, I’d love the chance to stop by and visit with you two before hitting the road home to Oregon. In the meantime, enjoy the Spring and let’s keep in touch.

Thanks again and be well!
Absolutely!

Best part is we now live with right next to our state park so you'll have another reason to head this way after leaving the Normal Plant.

You know how to find me!

Take care
 

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