According to Automotive News, four sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that Rivian intends to construct another US automotive factory. Moreover, the sources shared that the plant would also produce battery cells.
As we've reported on many occasions, Automotive News seems to have a knack for getting loads of EV-related information from anonymous sources. In the case of Tesla, the "news" is almost indefinitely never confirmed since the automaker doesn't have a PR department. However, this recent news related to Rivian's expansion has already been officially confirmed by the automaker, albeit with few details.
Upon being questioned about the rumors, Rivian spokeswoman Amy Mast replied:
"While it's early in an evolving process, Rivian is exploring locations for a second U.S. manufacturing facility."
Rivian is facing production and delivery delays which have caused the electric truck maker to push back its launch date multiple times. Meanwhile, it says its Amazon delivery van is still on track. In addition, the startup automaker says it has plans to install charging stations at state parks, and it will pursue future European sales plans.
While the delays are troubling to many, especially when it comes to EV startups, it seems there is too much happening at Rivian for the company to simply fold. Typically, you don't install a charging network and seek out future sites for both domestic and foreign operations if there's a good chance you're going under. We do know Rivian has strong financial backing from many major players, so that factors in here as well.
At any rate, Automotive News also reported that several US states have already made a bid for a Rivian factory. While Mast didn't confirm the rumors that the automaker could break ground as soon as early next year, she did add:
"We look forward to working with a supportive, technology-forward community in order to create a partnership as strong as the one we have with Normal."
Don't hold us to this, since anything can happen. However, at this point, it seems with Rivian it's not a matter of "if" but rather "when?" The pandemic has hindered companies across the globe, and if established automakers are struggling, it only makes sense that a startup would be impacted significantly. We've seen precisely what has happened to nearly every EV startup that has raced to move forward.
For now, it's just a waiting game. We certainly hope Rivian doesn't delay its vehicle launch yet again, but it's critical that the launch comes off successfully. The company must be forecasting huge demand for its current and future vehicles it it's already looking for another US factory site and planning on expanding into Europe so soon. Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.