Electric automaker Rivian has followed the trend set by other major automakers like Ford and others by shutting down all production facilities to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Rivian has over 2000 workers across multiple locations, including a headquarters in Plymouth, Michigan, and a factory in Normal, Illinois. The electric vehicle maker also has facilities that it operates in San Jose and Irvine, California.
The California facilities are where Rivian has engineers who work on autonomous vehicle technology. A facility in the UK has also been shut down. The company announced late last week that all of its salaried and hourly employees would continue to be paid during the shutdown. Reports indicate that most of the automaker’s facilities have only been operating at between two and five percent occupancy for the last week.
A company spokesman has said that the length the shutdown is undetermined at this time. Most automakers are hoping to have operations back up and running at some point next month, but that depends on the status of the coronavirus pandemic around the world and any government regulations that may be in place.
Ford is a significant investor in Rivian and provided part of the financing that allowed the electric vehicle company to raise over $1.3 billion in a recent round of funding. Ford’s investment was $500 million. The Rivian skateboard platform is expected to be used for a luxury Lincoln SUV. In January, word surfaced that the R1T electric pickup and R1S electric SUV would both be cheaper than previously announced. The R1T is expected to start at about $69,000, with the R1S starting at about $72,000.