Rivian names leader for future $5B factory in Georgia

Credit: Rivian

Credit: Rivian

Electric vehicle maker Rivian announced Tuesday it hired a top executive to run the company’s planned $5 billion factory an hour east of Atlanta.

The California-based EV company appointed Anthony Sanger as its vice president of facilities for the future plant in southern Morgan and Walton counties, according to a news release. Sanger has more than 35 years of experience in the program and construction management industry, has managed mega projects in the past and he most recently worked for global construction and consulting company Turner & Townsend.

“Georgia is an integral part of Rivian’s mission as we grow and launch new products,” Sanger told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in a written statement. “I look forward to further strengthening our partnerships in the state and bringing this landmark project to life.”

The announcement comes days after a Georgia appeals court panel mostly ruled in favor of the state and a local development authority over some $700 million in property tax breaks for Rivian’s future factory. An appeal by seven Morgan County residents who oppose the project, is likely, according to their attorney John Christy.

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

Sanger’s appointment and continued work on the site along I-20 appears to cement Georgia’s importance in Rivian’s future. The legal case involving local tax breaks for Rivian raised the possibility that the EV maker could exercise a clause in its incentive package to walk away from the deal if part of the legal underpinning of the package were not completed by a deadline that expired Monday.

Though the appeals court panel ruled largely in the state’s favor, the legal controversy could go before the state Supreme Court and could take months to resolve.

Rivian declined to comment on the ruling or whether the company is considering ending its agreement.

In March, Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe said he was “committed to this state and this project” during a meeting with Gov. Brian Kemp at the Gold Dome.

The company anticipates building a 16-million-square-foot EV manufacturing plant on the 2,000-acre property. Rivian has said the factory will employ 7,500 workers. In exchange for the investment, the state and local governments offered $1.5 billion in incentives to come to Georgia, including the local property tax breaks.

Cox Enterprises, owner of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, owns about a 4% stake in Rivian.