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WGLT, an NPR station in central Illinois, is following every move at the Rivian manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois. The electric vehicle startup has gone from stealth mode to big-time player in the auto world, attracting attention (and big money) from companies like Ford and Amazon.

Rivian To Unveil Vehicles At LA Auto Show

Rivian employee works on battery
A Rivian employee in California applies the final touches to our battery modules by installing temperature sensors.

Rivian Automotive will unveil its first two vehicles at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, GLT has confirmed.

The plans were first reported Monday by Engadget in a story about Rivian. GLT confirmed the plans Tuesday. A company spokesperson said no further details were available.

Bloomington-Normal residents have been clamoring for information about Rivian since the electric vehicle startup bought the former Mitsubishi Motors manufacturing plant in 2017. The stealthy Rivian revealed little about its plans through 2017, though in recent months has disclosed bits and pieces in media interviews.

Rivian’s first vehicle will be a five-passenger truck, introduced in 2020, followed by a seven-passenger SUV. The vehicles will be made in Normal, supported by engineering, design, and technology teams in Michigan and California. If Rivian creates 1,000 jobs over 10 years as planned, it would be one of McLean County’s Top 10 largest employers.

The Engadget story also revealed that the pickup is being referred to as A1T, and the SUV as A1C. A company spokesperson said the “vehicles have yet to be named.” The two vehicles will share around 90 percent of the same components.

A delegation of Bloomington-Normal officials recently traveled to Rivian’s vehicle and engineering facility outside Detroit. That trip included facetime with Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe.

Rivian will receive local property tax breaks, state tax incentives, and a $1 million grant from the Town of Normal if it hits certain thresholds over time.

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