Rivian expanding Illinois plant as Georgia project remains in limbo

Nearly two months after putting a $5 billion manufacturing plant in Georgia on hold, California-based Rivian announced it has received $827 million in incentives to expand its Illinois facility.

Despite the expansion of that facility, both company officials and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said the plan for the site in Morgan County to produce its new R2 midsize SUV is still proceeding. Peach State and local governments offered an incentive package as large as $1.5 billion, one of the largest ever offered for an American auto plant.

Gov. Kemp’s office said the commitment between the state and Rivian remains unchanged. Company officials previously stated that the Georgia facility is the key to long-term growth.

Rivian in Georgia

The Georgia plant site near Social Circle is expected to eventually hire 7,500 workers and produce up to 200,000 vehicles by the completion of its first phase later this year. A second planned phase would boost capacity by an additional 200,000 vehicles per year by 2030. It must meet 80% of its jobs and investment goals by the end of 2030 to avoid penalties.

State and local governments were projected to spend more than $125 million to buy the nearly 2,000-acre site, clear trees and grade land, documents show. That work has been finished, with the state turning the site over to Rivian. The state also has completed most of the $50 million in roadwork that it pledged.

The pause at Rivian contrasts with rapid construction at Hyundai Motor Group’s $7.6 billion electric vehicle and battery complex near Savannah. The plant in Ellabell, announced in 2022, could grow to 8,500 employees. The company recently said it now aims to begin production later this year, instead of in 2025.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story is being reported out of Atlanta.