Mar 7, 2024 - Business

Rivian pauses construction on $5 billion Georgia factory

Rivian vehicles

Rivian announced plans to pause construction on its Georgia factory. Photo: Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Electric vehicle maker Rivian said Thursday it will pause construction on its $5 billion factory nearly 50 miles east of Atlanta.

Why it matters: The planned 2,000-acre complex straddling Walton and Morgan counties amounted to one of Georgia's largest economic development projects ever — with a $1.5 billion tax incentive package and the promise of 7,500 new jobs to match, Axios' Emma Hurt previously reported.

State of play: Construction crews had graded a significant portion of the land, but plans to break ground on vertical construction in early 2024 now have fizzled.

The latest: The company revealed the news while unveiling three smaller, more affordable electric vehicles: the mid-sized R2 SUV and the R3 and R3X crossover vehicles.

  • The R2 SUV will initially be made at the company's Illinois factory instead of the Georgia facility.
  • It will go on sale in the first half of 2026, starting around $45,000.

What they're saying: A company spokesperson told Axios in a statement that the Georgia facility is "extremely important" in its plans to produce its new line of vehicles, "but the timing for its launch is expected to be later to focus our teams on the capital efficient launch of R2" in Illinois.

Of note: Rivian's economic development agreement requires it to meet 80% of its $5 billion investment and 7,500 jobs by Dec. 31, 2030, and maintain them through 2049, the state added.

  • The company has not said whether it still expects to achieve those goals within the agreed upon timeframe.

Catch up quick: Some residents opposed to the project have filed lawsuits to stop it. Last July, the Georgia Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of residents' protesting the project's tax breaks, clearing the company's path.

  • Rivian plans to start making vehicles in Georgia in 2026.
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