The coronavirus pandemic will delay the launch schedule for Rivian’s first electric trucks and SUVs being made in Normal.
The automaker initially planned to begin deliveries at the end of 2020, with the rest in 2021 and beyond.
“This evolving new reality is not without impact on our program timing,” Rivian told its pre-order customers in a recent email. “While we expect some level of delay, we are working to minimize the disruption to our launch schedule and as we better understand the extent of the impact, you will be the first to know.”
Rivian already has over 300 employees as its Normal manufacturing plant, with plans to hire hundreds more as production ramps up. The company announced last month it was temporarily shutting down all its facilities because of the coronavirus. Employees began working from home, and all interior renovation was stopped in Normal. Some exterior construction work was allowed to continue. The company is investing around $750 million into the plant.
Rivian also has offices and staff in California and Michigan.
“We just happen to be in three especially heavy-hit states,” said Rivian spokesperson Zach Dietmeier.
Other automakers have also shuttered plants across the country, and many suppliers have shut down factories that provide parts for those cars.
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