Rivian Factory Plant in Normal, IL and Headquarters in Plymouth, MI

Discussion in 'Rivian General Discussions' started by Jason's Rivian, Mar 1, 2019.

  1. Jason's Rivian

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    Hadn't seen a photo of the Rivian production plant before. Here's the factory where our Rivians will be born :party:

    Rivian Factory Production Plant Normal Illinois.jpg
     
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  2. RefugeEV

    RefugeEV Active Member

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    Looks like a pretty Normal plant :giggle:

    Here's the interior look.

    rivian factory planti interior Normal IL.jpg
     
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  3. Alan Burns

    Alan Burns Well-Known Member

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    I would like to see a way to arrive at Normal about 3 days early to spend a day in a classroom getting lectures and manuals concerning operations and maintenance about the vehicle we are buying and how to interact with the Rivian support system.

    The second day would be hands on with an actual vehicle concerning controls and set up with a test drive hopefully with some wet or slippery conditions and maybe even a place to get stuck and how to drive out.

    The third day would involve all the final paperwork, perhaps financing if needed then driving your rig off the floor and attaching the temporary license plate to the vehicle for the drive home. If we are talking mid winter delivery the last day might include acquiring winter tires and installation. I am leaning towards Nokian studless since ceramic studs are near impossible to find in Montana.

    I wonder how many people Rivian would need to hire to staff such an operation? Given R1T owners are likely be the ones who will need to introduce their vehicles to mechanics and tire shops I think the classroom time and manual accessibility are important.
     
  4. PoorPilot

    PoorPilot Well-Known Member

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    #4 PoorPilot, Mar 2, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2019
    As far as using the operating system, Tesla makes videos available to you prior to actual vehicle delivery so when you actually sit in your own vehicle, it's just a matter of customizing the display to your liking. Again, this is Tesla and I have no idea what Rivian will do, but I'm sure for cost effectiveness, they will do something similar. If you're gun-shy about using the new operating system, then I can assure you you're not going to disable your car, or make it a $100k brick in your garage. As I stated with the Tesla, all it takes is a quick phone call (24x7) and 99% of the time they can fix the issue right then via over-the-air connection.

    As far as driving in off-road conditions, I would think this is more about the owner, not the vehicle. Rivian will have 4 independent motors so essentially 4 lockable hubs if we're talking traditional 4x4's. If one wheel slips, then the other 3 will compensate. You could even raise and lower the suspension to help navigate less than ideal conditions. There might also be some legality issues if Rivian were to "teach" owners how to drive off-road. Much like Tesla not "teaching" owners how to drive with the autopilot. There are instructions in the manual on how to use it, but everything is backed up by "at owner's risk".

    Overall, EV's are truly different beasts compared to traditional ICE vehicles. A lot of people don't understand that and still want to have their Saturday afternoon "work on the truck" days with their buddies. That's not the case with these vehicles. There's nothing to work on.
     
  5. Alan Burns

    Alan Burns Well-Known Member

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    #5 Alan Burns, Mar 2, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2019
    I am interested in some hands on driving lessons in less than ideal conditions. Locking hubs on 4WD I have experience with but 1000 hp/axle with maximum torque output at stall speed will be new to me. I have experience with this on electric railroad locomotives but that is a different world.

    You are saying we might be seeing downloadable instructional videos beginning mid 2020 when production designs are finalized if Rivian follows the Tesla model?

    Thanks.
     
  6. PoorPilot

    PoorPilot Well-Known Member

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    #6 PoorPilot, Mar 2, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2019
    I don't know for sure if Rivian will offer manuals for their operating system or not, but Tesla uses videos. And when I picked my vehicle up, they spent about an hour going over the basics again to make sure I understood everything. The top level stuff is pretty self-explanatory, but some of the second and third tier stuff might require me referencing the manual to see exactly what a particular option does. Again, if Rivian goes the way of Tesla, the display, and many options within the display and operating system, are very customizable. And even if you check something accidently, it's not going to immobilize the vehicle.

    I think we're all going to have to wait and see what new information is going to be released before we start dissecting everything. I'm planning on viewing the vehicle(s) at the NY Auto Show next month and have a list of questions ready for them!
     
  7. EyeOnRivian

    EyeOnRivian Well-Known Member

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    Hope Rivian provides guided tours of the Normal plant shortly after it's up and running. If so, I definitely see a road trip in my future ... assuming I haven't already seen the R1S or R1T beforehand at a Rivian attended event of some sort.
     
  8. Administrator

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  9. Jason's Rivian

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    Some pics of the Rivian headquarters in Plymouth, Michigan. Seems like a nice place to work and they went with a tech company feel inside.

    Rivian Plymouth Office Headquarter2.jpg

    Rivian Plymouth Office Headquarter3.jpg

    Rivian Plymouth Office Headquarter1.jpg

    2018_11_Rivian_Plymouth_MainArea_002.jpg

    rivian-s-plymouth-office.jpg
     
  10. Administrator

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    Interesting facts:

    The city of Normal gave Rivian a 5-year, 100% property tax abatement if Rivian can meet particular hiring and plant investment thresholds. And once Rivian invests $20M into the plant, Rivian will also be given a $1M grant from Normal.

    The state of Illinois will give $49.5M in state tax credits to Rivian if it can create 1,000 jobs over 10 years.
     
  11. EyeOnRivian

    EyeOnRivian Well-Known Member

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    Yea, I read that too. I suspect it was probably the same article - "Stealth EV Startup Rivian Automotive Granted $49.5 Million In Tax Credits From Illinois"

    Time will tell whether or not that tax credit deal former Illinois Governor Rauner made will generate enough sales and income tax revenue for the state, but in the mean time it certainly is a good deal for Rivian. As an Illinoisan, that gives me just another reason to root for Rivian's success! :fingerscrossed:
     
  12. Administrator

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    Here is a good read about Rivian's production plant and its history.

    Optimism returns to Normal as electric truck startup Rivian gains traction

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-normal-rivian-auto-plant-20190215-story.html

    1400x788.jpg


    February 17, 2019

    When the Mitsubishi plant closed in July 2015 after years of dwindling production, the mood in downstate Normal was decidedly somber. The sprawling factory, once the city’s largest employer, went dark, leaving 1,100 people out of work and many fearing it would end up as a massive hole in the ground.

    More than a year passed without a buyer, and a liquidator was preparing to sell the factory for scrap.

    “It was within a couple weeks of getting torn down,” said Chris Koos, a local bicycle shop owner who has been mayor of Normal since 2003. “We were kind of dejected.”

    Then in 2016 came Rivian and its 30-something founder and CEO R.J. Scaringe, an engineer who had this crazy idea of buying and retooling the factory to build an all-electric pickup truck. Koos and just about everybody else in Normal were justifiably skeptical.

    Three years later, it’s a different story: Scaringe now owns the property, Amazon took a stake in the company Friday, dazzling prototypes have been unveiled and Normal is beginning to believe that maybe, just maybe Rivian will bring the plant back to life, and recharge the central Illinois city.

    “The general tone for the first year, year and a half was, is this real or not?” said Koos, 70. “Now I think there’s a lot of optimism.”

    There wasn’t in September 2016, when Scaringe paid a visit to the Coffee Hound, a haunt favored by hipsters near the Illinois State University campus.

    Scaringe had been kicking the tires at the plant with John Shook, a manufacturing expert and Rivian board member. They were impressed with the well-maintained, 30-year-old factory, which once hummed along with two shifts turning out 200,000 vehicles a year.

    “We sat down and just spent a good deal of time in the coffee shop, just getting a sense of the mood of the community, getting a sense of the people,” said Scaringe, 36. “Of course nobody knew who we were, what we were asking or what we were doing, so it was an interesting time in the coffee shop.”

    Now, with a $700 million Amazon-led investment announced on Friday, the company has raised about $1.4 billion and is on track to begin production next year.

    There is a long way to go, to be sure, and many in Normal still feel burned by Mitsubishi. But civic leaders and residents this week said there just might be something to this crazy Rivian idea.

    Founded by Scaringe in 2009, Rivian employs about 750 people at its Michigan headquarters, technology and engineering operations in California and the former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, which the company bought for $16 million from a liquidation firm in January 2017.

    The company unveiled sleek prototypes of its electric pickup truck and SUV models in November at the Los Angeles Auto Show, winning praise for their innovative design and performance capability. The company says the high-end model of its pickup, the R1T, will be able to go from zero to 60 mph in about 3 seconds and travel up to 400 miles on a single charge.

    The company has set an annual target of 20,000 to 25,000 vehicles over the first two years of production, with the ambitious goal of eventually producing 250,000 vehicles per year.

    In addition to $4 million in local incentives, Rivian is set to receive $49.2 million in state tax credits over 15 years if it meets employment and investment targets for the Normal facility. Those goals include creating 1,000 new jobs by 2024.

    Koos, who in addition to being mayor has owned Vitesse Cycle, a bicycle shop in the Uptown area of Normal, for more than 40 years, was like many of his constituents, initially skeptical that Rivian was for real.

    “It was a big unknown for us,” Koos said. “This was a startup. We didn’t know what we were getting into, but we knew we had to save that facility.”

    Normal, about 130 miles south of Chicago, is the smaller sibling of its twin city, Bloomington, which is perhaps best known as the home of State Farm Insurance. The city of about 54,000, of course, had a lot more to offer Rivian than a good cup of coffee, including the vacant auto plant, a displaced skilled workforce, and the millions of dollars in state and local incentives.

    More than anything, there was the need to replace a void in the economic and cultural landscape of the community left by Mitsubishi’s closing.

    At its heyday in the 1990s, the plant had 3,600 employees, 12 vendors who set up shop to service the plant and two Japanese restaurants to feed transplanted executives and adventurous locals. All were gone by the time Mitsubishi pulled up stakes amid long-slumping sales.

    700x394.jpg

    Mitsubishi opened the Normal plant in 1988 as a joint venture with Chrysler, producing sport coupes and, later, sedans. Mitsubishi bought out Chrysler’s stake in the joint venture in 1991 but continued to supply the Detroit automaker with its cars through 2005.

    By the time Mitsubishi closed the plant, annual production had fallen to 64,000 vehicles and the workforce was down to less than a third of what it had been.

    At the time they were cut loose, employees had an average age of 52, and the prospects of finding a comparable job in the area were bleak, according to Jerry Berwanger, the former chief operating officer at the Mitsubishi plant.

    “There’s not that many $24-an-hour jobs in Bloomington-Normal for labor,” said Berwanger, 71, who helped shut down the plant and has since retired to Kansas City.

    Berwanger said employees were offered job training and about six to eight months’ severance on average. When the money ran out, some took auto jobs in the South, some went to the Chrysler plant in Belvidere, Ill., and many took whatever jobs they could find in Normal.

    Rod DeVary, 58, of Bloomington, was hired to work on the assembly line at the Mitsubishi plant in September 1988, part of the third group of workers hired, and remained until the end, when there was a skeleton crew of about 100 workers making replacement parts for vehicles already on the road.

    DeVary was elected president of the union representing the workers, UAW 2488, in June 2015, weeks before employees received news of the plant’s impending closure.

    “I was shocked,” he said. “Four or five months’ warning was all anybody got.”

    When DeVary failed to land a job at a new Volvo plant in South Carolina, he settled for part-time jobs, including working as a forklift operator, working concessions at an arena in Bloomington and driving for Uber.

    DeVary already has submitted his resume to Rivian but hasn’t heard back.

    Rivian has hired about 70 people in Normal, including some former Mitsubishi employees, to help convert the plant to building the new electric trucks. Scaringe said the available talent pool played into his decision to locate manufacturing in Normal.

    “The access to very capable and very skilled talent was important to us,” Scaringe said.

    At the Coffee Hound on Friday, the menu included cold brew and nitro coffees, avocado toast and granola, with international music serenading college students tapping on laptops and reading on blue leather benches.

    Down the road are the signs of a city forever evolving: an a former American Legion hall now serves as a home and kitchen store and an old bank building houses comics and record shops.

    Older patrons sipped coffee from white mugs, chatting away on a variety of subjects, including an increased confidence that auto manufacturing was returning to Normal.

    “It was a shame to see (the plant) just sitting there,” said Paul Spitz, 66, of Bloomington, who used to work for the Illinois Department of Transportation. “We’ve been hearing encouraging news lately.”
     
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  13. DiggiRob

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    Wow those pics of the interior look like a pure tech start up.

    Also I predict the 20-25k vehicles over the first few years will be well under demand once these puppies get into the hands of the public and people see them around. Wonder if this is more due to production constraints and wanting to take things slowly or if they have gauged interest and that's what they expect.
     
  14. Katsudon

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    Probably both. The Normal plant can (and has) crank out at least 200k vehicles a year, so capacity isn't an issue. Worst thing they can do is bite off more than they can chew and try to rush these things out the door with poor quality. These are supposed to be luxury vehicles after all so buyers (me included) are going to expect a certain high level of quality and reliability.
     
  15. Hall Monitor

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    Rivian tweeted a pic of the R1T inside the Plymouth headquarter.

    D1Ed4nvX4AE6ccJ.jpg
     
  16. Jason's Rivian

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    Cool shot in tweet.

     
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