Rivian, based in California, operates a factory in Illinois where it builds its flagship R1T trucks and R1S SUVs, as well as electric vans for Amazon.
Rivian’s domestic manufacturing strategy hinges on its announced factory in southern Walton and Morgan counties, which is expected to create 7,500 jobs. The 2,000-acre project site is currently undergoing excavation.
The factory was originally expected to start production in 2024, but those plans have been delayed until 2025. Production of a new crossover vehicle was also delayed until 2026. A Rivian spokesperson declined to provide an update Monday on the Georgia factory to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Jerry Silvio, chairman of the Joint Development Authority (JDA) of Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton Counties, said during a Georgia Economic Developers Association award event last month that Rivian is expected to build 4,000 vehicles in Georgia in 2025.
The project enjoys support among many community and business leaders in Walton and Morgan counties, but it also has generated vocal opposition. The state stepped in earlier this year to take control of the property, in part, to more easily bypass local zoning.
Rivian opponents, however, have had success challenging the project’s tax incentives. In September, a local judge shot down roughly $700 million in local project tax breaks that formed a central piece of a $1.5 billion incentive package. The ruling has been appealed.
Despite the legal battles, Rivian’s top officials recently affirmed their commitment to coming to Georgia during a third-quarter earning call with investors.
A note of disclosure
Cox Enterprises, owner of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, also owns about a 4% stake in Rivian and supplies services to the company. Sandy Schwartz, a Cox executive who oversees the AJC, is on Rivian’s board of directors and holds stock personally. He does not take part in the AJC’s coverage of Rivian.