Walton County

Rivian construction of 2,000 acre EV Factory in Georgia paused, company expects to save $2.25B

WALTON COUNTY, Ga. — Rivian is putting the brakes on the construction of a multi-billion dollar electric vehicle production and assembly plant in Georgia.

The news came Thursday, with Rivian Founder and CEO R.J. Scaringe saying the pause applies to the R2.

The factory was set to be built on a 2,000-acre site near Interstate-20, and cover parts of Morgan and Walton County.

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When the project was announced to great fanfare by Gov. Brian Kemp in 2021, officials estimated it would create 7,500 jobs and provide millions in tax revenue to local governments and the state.

Some economists attributed Rivian’s decision to a dip in sales of electric vehicles including pricey SUVs and trucks.

“If people don’t want a product it’s difficult to push forward with a $5 billion project. Rivian is doing what it feels is best for its company and for shareholders,” Emory University Goizueta Business School Economist Tom Smith told Channel 2′s Tom Regan.

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Some people who work and live in the area are disappointed that Rivian has halted production of the factory.

“I am, because of the jobs that were supposed to be coming here. But hey, the car company is not as great as they made it out to be,” resident Teddy Robinson told Channel 2 Action News.

The owner of a hardware store in nearby Social Circle said he too had hoped the factory project would go forward.

“From a business standpoint, for the state of Georgia, I thought it was a good thing,” Jim Retter said.

But others say they are glad to see Rivian pulling the plug.

“I have customers a half mile from here, and their wells are contaminated from all the grading. From the beginning, they told us they were coming. They didn’t ask us. Didn’t want it. Didn’t need it,” David Gerber said.

As previously reported by Channel 2 Action News, under the deal, which had been in the works since 2021 and was finalized in November, Rivian was set to invest $5 billion to build the facility and create 7,500 jobs, according to officials.

Rivian said it will save $2.25 billion by halting construction of the factory. Production of two new mid-sized SUVs will be moved to an existing factory in Illinois.

“Our Georgia plant remains an extremely important part of our strategy to scale production of R2 and R3, but the timing for its launch is expected to be later to focus our teams on the capital efficient launch of R2 in Normal, IL,” a spokesperson for Rivian said.

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