NORMAL, Ill. — Channel 2 got an exclusive tour of the Rivian manufacturing plant in Illinois as the company plans to build another in Georgia.
“It’s revolutionizing the industry and helping us electrify the entire automotive industry,” said Tim Fallon, Rivian vice president of manufacturing.
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Fallon walked Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston through the plant in Normal, Illinois. The automaker builds luxury, electric trucks and SUVs that sell between $70,000 to $80,000.
“It can definitely be a sticker shock, but the actual value you’re getting in the vehicle, for the content in the vehicle, it really is at a good price point,” Fallon said.
Rivian plans to build a $5 billion electric vehicle plant in Walton and Morgan counties about an hour east of Atlanta. The company received $1.5 billion in incentives from the state of Georgia.
Fallon said the company plans to hire thousands of workers.
“The talent pool is definitely something that made it attractive. We know we’ll be able to get the talent and the amount of talent that we need,” he said.
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Stacey Cameron has worked for Rivian for two years. It’s her job to make sure every vehicle that leaves the plant is top notch. She said the company is like no other.
“This has been probably one of the best jobs that I have had,” she told Huddleston. “I am serious. This has been one of the best jobs I have had. I’m gonna look you in your eye without blinking.”
In Morgan and Walton counties, not everyone is wide-eyed about Rivian becoming a new neighbor.
Billboards and “No Rivian” signs are posted all over the rural area. Many feel the massive plant will bring traffic, noise and too many people to the quiet, rural community.
Normal, Illinois mayor said he understand the concerns.
“It’s churned up the job market here in a good way and a bad way,” Mayor Chris Koos said.
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Koos told Channel 2 that Rivian has been an outstanding community partner, providing jobs and opportunities to this small Midwest town. But with prosperity comes higher costs.
“It’s caused issues with housing. We have a very, very tight housing market,” he said.
The mayor said housing has gone up 15% to 20%. At the plant, Fallon said they know their million-plus square foot Georgia facility will bring change. They just want the community to give them a chance.
“As Rivian, we want to be a partner we want to see Social Circle grow just as much as we want to see Rivian grow.”
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