Is Rivian An American Company?


By Richard Truesdell

Rivian. Maybe you have heard the name, maybe you haven’t. But what is it? Rivian is an electric vehicle manufacturer that has emerged with a promising future. Many reviewers and business journalists predict that Rivian may even be Tesla’s greatest competitor once it starts getting cars on the market. 

So, is Riviain an American company? Rivian is an American company based out of Southern California and was founded by RJ Scaringe. RJ Scaringe was 26 at the time of the founding of Rivian in 2009. Rivian is now headquartered in Irvine, California but has corporate locations in northern California, southern California, Illinois, British Columbia, and even the United Kingdom.

 Rivian has yet to put its cars on sale to the general public, but this company has already spread across the nation and even across national borders. How did this company seem to rise out of nowhere? Like many other big companies, Rivian has taken years to reach the point where it can start to compete in today’s incredibly competitive market. In this article, we’ll continue to take a look at how this company got to where it is today. 

Rivian Headquarters And Where It Was Founded

Rivian began as a start-up in Southern California. In recent years, it was headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan but is now headquartered in Irvine California. Rivian has a plethora of offices around the country and even locations in British Columbia, Canada, and England. RJ Scaringe founded the company in 2009 after he graduated from MIT with a degree in engineering and lean manufacturing. The company began with the name Mainstream Motors but has since changed to Rivian. 

The company was founded in southern California but then it received enough funding to have operations going in both California and Michigan. Recently, the company has moved its base of operations to Irvine, California but the company has operations going on both ends of the country. They have now opened offices in Canada and the United Kingdom. 

The company will be building most of its vehicles in an old Mitsubishi factory found in Normal, Illinois. This factory is 3 million square feet and will be the main center of production for Rivian. Production has not yet begun for their two main vehicles, the Rivian R1T pickup truck and the Rivian R1S SUV. The company has said that production will most likely begin at the latter end of 2021. 

In 2019 both Amazon and Ford invested in the company, largely raising the value of the company. Amazon invested about 700 million dollars and Ford invested another 500 million dollars. In addition to its 700 million dollar investment Amazon also made an order for 100,000 vans. Rivian has in fact already begun production on these vans for Amazon. Rivian continues to receive funding from other companies including a huge 3 billion dollars from T. Rowe. With this big backing of investors, Rivian has a lot of potential when it comes to what they can accomplish in the future. 

Are All Rivian Founders Americans?

RJ Scaringe is the founder of Rivian and grew up in Melbourne, Florida. As a child Scaringe always loved the outdoors and enjoyed visiting different places across the United States. In high school, he became interested in cars and would even help friends and neighbors on their car projects. Both of these aspects from his younger life contributed to the dream he has for Rivian now. Scaringe attended MIT where he received a doctorate in mechanical engineering. Scaringe began assembling his team for the company and while most of the team are Americans, the current team is very ethnically diverse. 

RJ Scaringe recruited Mark Vinnels, who is a former engineer and designer for McLaren, as well as John Hammound who previously worked with Jeep. There are many other VPs and executives of Rivian that are American but there are many executives who have ties to India, Great Britain, and even Kenya. This diversity may help Rivian in the future to reach a global audience as it brings in perspectives from around the world. 

What Components Of The Vehicle Are Made In America?

All Rivian vehicles will be assembled at the 3 million square foot factory that Rivian purchased in Normal, IL. Rivian also has plans to construct a second factory for manufacturing its vehicles which will also be located somewhere in the United States, per reuter.com. I’ll talk more about those details later in the article. What I will say is that at this new factory, one of the things that Rivian will be manufacturing are batteries for their cars.

The car batteries and the car itself will be assembled in the United States with materials and parts for the cars coming from around the globe. Rivain has various supply chains pulling components from around the world to create their vehicles. Things like the cars’ microchips are being imported from foreign manufacturers which is the case with almost all automakers. 

Rivian’s Future Plans Of Expansion

Rivian is a company with big plans, that much is for sure. The company has currently raised 10.5 billion dollars in funding according to www.cnbc.com. That is a lot of money but Rivian is just getting started. Rivian has plans to take over the adventure side of electric vehicles with its focus being on electric trucks and SUVs. This is an aspect of the electric car world that has barely been scratched by current electric vehicle manufacturers. 

Originally, Rivian planned on releasing its first vehicles to the public in September of 2021 but due to shortages in things like microchips and other setbacks the date has been moved back. Rivian is still fighting to get their first cars up for purchase before 2022. Rivian has already begun to deliver electric vans to Amazon getting started on the 10,000 vans that it has promised Amazon before 2030. 

First and foremost, Rivian plans on building a second factory somewhere in the United States. This will be a big project that many states are currently competing for. This new factory will not only include car assembly but will also include space for battery construction. This new factory will most likely range anywhere from 1 to 2 billion dollars, probably being closer to the 2 billion dollar mark because of the battery production aspect. 

Rivian is racing to develop a new battery that is more efficient and longer-lasting. They are currently Tesla’s biggest competitor on this project. Rivian has been reported to have hired battery experts to help in the development of new batteries. Being able to develop this battery will make a big difference on who is the more successful company in the future. Rivian is more than capable of reaching this goal seeing that they have received backing from Amazon, Ford, and T. Rowe. 

Plans to continue to grow are already in motion for Rivian, even though they have not currently released their first two models to the public. Rivian has already put in trademarks for two new cars named the “R1V” and the “R2X” , says Electrek. Though it is not confirmed there are also whispers that the R2S and R2T are already in the works as well. 

Rivian really wants their vehicles to be used for what they are made for, adventure. A big drawback from electric SUVs and trucks in the past has been that people didn’t want to take electric cars into the wild where it might not be as easy to refuel your car as just taking an extra gas can. To really make their dream come true, Rivian has already begun plans on charging infrastructure for their vehicles. Per Electrek, Rivian has already made plans for their “Adventure Network” which includes the first step of putting charging stations at every state park in Colorado. 

The plans of Rivian do not stop with America. Electrek also reports that Rivian has already begun searching for possible locations of a European facility. Many European countries are making very tight emissions laws that are pushing electric vehicles to become very popular in European countries. It is very likely the Rivian will begin doing more in the European market, as to not fall behind other companies that are already established in those countries.

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