Don’t be surprised if you see Rivian vehicles—and even founder and CEO R.J. Scaringe—popping up more often around Bloomington-Normal in the coming weeks and months.
Scaringe is now based at the Rivian plant in Normal through production. He was previously based in southern California and frequently traveled to Rivian’s other locations, including in Normal and Michigan. That means sightings of the bespectacled 37-year-old CEO will become more commonplace in Bloomington-Normal.
Scaringe had made several high-profile appearances in Bloomington-Normal since Rivian first arrived here in late 2016. He was the featured guest at the Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council’s Community Leaders Dinner in October 2018. And in October 2019 he showed Gov. JB Pritzker some Rivian vehicles during a community event in Uptown Normal.
Also appearing in the community more often are Rivian’s electric vehicles. A green R1T truck was spotted last weekend parked outside The Foundry retail outlet in Bloomington, home to Green Top Grocery.
Those are validation vehicles, so not quite the finalized production versions. The first actual vehicles will be delivered to U.S. customers starting in June (R1T trucks) and August (R1S SUVs) of 2021.
Rivian will make its pickups, SUVs, and delivery vans at its Normal manufacturing plant. It’s investing hundreds of millions of dollars into the plant, which was previously occupied by Mitsubishi Motors. Rivian already has 630 employees in Normal, with plans to hire hundreds more as production ramps up next year. But already, those 630 employees make Rivian one of the Top 15 largest employers in McLean County.
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