The enigmatic Rivian closes the deal and remains with the factory Mitsubishi in Illinois


The huge plant of Mitsubishi in Normal.

Finally, the enigmatic start-up Rivian Automotive has achieved closing the deal to be done with the factory Mitsubishi in Normal, Illinois. A plant that was closed recently by the japanese firm, leaving about a thousand residents of the town unemployed.

The interest of Rivian in this plant we passed unnoticed last December, when we drew attention to both the apparently meager budget announced to reactivate it as the mysterious bagage of the company itself, which officially takes already 8 years developing a new generation of vehicles under various headings-corporate, but, however, not only has not released yet any model, but that’s not even what has been presented.

The agreement has not been a mere trade transaction, since Rivian has negotiated with the institutions of the town significant tax benefits and subsidies to gain control of the plant, which was in the possession of a company of settlements, which had been done with her for 2.5 million dollars. This plant has a surface 223,000 square feet and sits on a plot of about 2 square kilometers.


Images of the interior of the plant published by Rivian.

so matching in time, but not casual, Rivian has reopened its corporate web site, from some time ago just showed a black screen with the name of the company and the warning “Coming soon”. Since a few days, their website shows a more obvious statement of intent, in which we see various scenes of the work environment of a development team and their first video, which basically summarizes the same message that transmits the web.

With respect to their technology or new products neither the website nor the video ahead of nothing, so that by the time we continue waiting to know the supposed range of electric vehicles they are developing and that they intend to start manufacturing in series on the ground of Normal, for which should hire close to 1,000 workers.

Officially, Rivian intends to invest 40.5 billion dollars in these facilities immediately and start date of production would be in 2019. To change, the institutions of Normal agreed to a tax reduction in the next five years and a grant of a million dollars, at the expense of the recruitment of approximately 1,000 local workers and the promised investment of the company in the plant, valued at 175 million dollars from here to 2024.


the foreground of the building, 223,000 square feet.

“As a community, we are delighted that Rivian has chosen us. It is incredibly rare that a major manufacturing plant closure in the mid-West, and then find a new life.” Words of Chris Koos, mayor of Normal to a trade publication american.

Without entering into the details of what really expensive that it can be to revive a plant 223,000 square metres, we speak of numbers between nine and ten figures, what no one has explained it and also clarifies the company’s website is where you will leave the budget promised by Rivian Automotive, more than 40 million entry and up to 175 million in the next 7 years.

Rivian was born in 2009 under the name of Mainstream Motors in Florida, where the father of its founder and current CEO, both named R. J Sacaringe and engineering graduates from MIT, owns a company called Mainstream Engineering, a defense contractor that has customers at NASA and the u.s. Navy. As an example, in the International Space Station have a cooling system designed and manufactured by them.


Teaser of years ago, the model that was never presented.

In a few years the company changed the name to Avera Motors, although shortly after they had to change to new name because of pressure from Hyundai, since that name looked too much like the name Azera.

on the promise of a sporty vehicle cutting affordable (about $ 25,000), equipped with a mechanical hybrid and very efficient, the company introduced several teasers and granted a few interviews, although not presented, much less marketed anything. Had an agreement with Space Florida for the creation of a prototype from which virtually no information exists in the network, but little more.

In the comments area of some forums old we find the testimony of some users that claim to live in the same area where it was previously established by the company and pointing out that the brand actually made a prototype, but using the mechanical platform of a BMW that despiezaron, engine, brakes and suspensions.


Patent Rivian of the year 2013.

As we will explain in detail, the company had a juicy grant from the local institutions, and despite supposedly to develop the vehicle and do not submit anything, recently moved to Michigan, where again they returned to promise the development of a new range of vehicles, even though now they are electric and not a hybrid, for which they obtained a grant similar to that enjoyed in Florida.

today, a thorough search in the network he only throws two patents in the name of Rivian Automotive, despite taking years to develop supposed their models. On one hand the number US8641133, referring to the complete frame of a vehicle with the features of the announced and the number D/445560, concerning the exterior design of the vehicle.

In the first, we can see a design very advanced and studied in the frame of a model of the central engine and 4 squares, which has a chassis that seems to be made of aluminum and which has the peculiarity of being divided into modules. On the one hand we find the central module that houses the passenger compartment, to which is added the modules to the front and rear, each one of them in charge of welcoming his train. In the case of the rear, would also the engine, which by the looks of it, it is a 4-cylinder engine. Although there is no trace of the hybrid system in any of the trains rolling.


Patent engineering of the vehicle, chassis, modular, aluminum.

Interestingly, the module comprising a roof and pillars is not added until the rest of the frame is mounted, as with their mechanical and interior full.

In the patent referred to the exterior design, we find a model-looking coupe, that seems to be related to the sketches that were in the personal website of Peter Stevens. The british designer, responsible for models such as the Lotus Excel, or the McLaren F1 and that was the signing star of Avera Motors in 2011. Until in 2012, Stevens left to be the director of design Failure, only 6 months after entering the position.

The first patent was presented in October 2011, while referring to the exterior design of the model was registered the February 13, 2013, a little less than a year after Stevens should cease working for the company.


Sketches of Peter Stevens of the Rivian R1.

it Is curious that, despite patenting a design so advanced as that we see in these patents the company does not submit any product, and in the same way, as it may be possible that since the record of those drawings of engineering in 2011 the company has not submitted a single patent more in these 5 years, in which, in theory, lead to develop a future range of models. First, hybrids and now electric.

On behalf of Mainstream Engineering nor are there any patent-related projects automotive. In contrast, companies like Tesla have in their possession more than 750 patents, and his previous rival, Fisker, had its name 85.

In sum, after already 8 years in the business, Rivian has employed three different denominations, has been installed in two different states, only seems to be patented part of the development of a single vehicle and on the contrary, has not presented even a single product. Or of course marketed anything publicly.


Excerpt from the new video of Rivian.

In theory, since you are in Michigan in addition to the grant valued at $ 1.8 million have had with an investor, whose identity has not been disclosed for the moment. As the budget of the own companyto that if Florida had thirty employees is now little more than 100. Although has never had 1,000 or 1,200 employees that promised on its website until recently, we hope that this new project from Normal to reverse that situation.

¿That claim to manufacture in its new plant in Normal?, that is perhaps the first question that we must ask. On its website one sees that employees, apparently in their working environment and in addition fairly young (how young graduates?, as pointed in one of the comments that we mentioned earlier), but little, very little is seen of any car complete or finished.

In a picture shows a model seen fleetingly from its bottom view, which shows completely flat, and that reminds us quite to the platform type skid Tesla. Perhaps these past years have been developing a new electrical platform and have parked their original design, or perhaps this was not as satisfying as it would have wished and would be forced to do so, or perhaps, as pointed out by some, have only sought to develop the technology with no intentions of it really with a view to any large corporation will buy the company.


current Image of Rivian, this flat frame quite remember the skate of Tesla.

from now on, already have stunning facilities able to produce more than double the current production of Tesla and that are worth much more than the 2.5 million that the company paid fines for it and that in theory should cost many millions of dollars, probably hundreds, return to reactivate. What you plan to do now in Illinois?, we still do not know for sure, but currently, they only have history to burn subsidies and do not submit anything, falling behind constantly, their objectives and time frames.