As Tesla looks to leave the state of California behind, due to a lack of cooperation between regulators and the automaker, another rising EV star has decided to do just the opposite. Rivian, the company behind the upcoming R1 range of electric trucks, has announced a plan to consolidate its design teams in California.
Right now, the company has offices in Michigan and California, as well as a production facility in Illinois. They have 2,300 employees, 1,000 of which already live in the Golden State.
The transition was initiated by the company’s CEO, RJ Scaringe. It will mean the relocation of their Michigan design team to a new Irvine, CA location. However, the move won’t necessarily affect the operations at the former-Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois- which they just spent $30 million renovating.
We’ve recently completed an expansion at our Michigan location and it will remain an important presence for us… As we grow, we’ll keep evaluating and evolving our footprint and geography.
Now the company has a lease on two Irvine locations, adding up to over 250,000 square-feet. They also have been eyeing an Orange County property that could replace their Plymouth, Michigan headquarters.
These decisions can surely confuse those of us keeping up with the startup. The fact they are already so spread out, and shifting around so much before production, gives them a somewhat ambiguous place of origin.
No doubt, people will roll their eyes at the notion of moving things to California. Regardless, fact of the matter is that we just care about them making cool trucks.