Up and coming EV automaker Rivian has a ton of buzz and billions of dollars behind its operation, but that doesn’t give it immunity from the current situation. Instead, the company gave a brief update in which it announced it had shuttered all its facilities, including its Normal, Illinois manufacturing plant. Employees are still working from home, but due to the ongoing crisis it may be awhile before critical groundwork can actually happen.
“The world has changed a lot in these last few weeks,” the company said in a statement. “We’ve shut down all Rivian facilities to protect or team and help slow the spread of COVID-19.” They then went on to describe the situation we now live in — those who can work from home doing what they can from their homes, “continuing to work hard toward bringing our products to life.”
However, that said Rivian also acknowledged the shutdown is “not without impact on our program timing.” The company was slated to launch both the R1S SUV and R1T pickup later this year. In light of the recent circumstances, the statement goes on to say, “as we better understand the extent of the impact, you will be the first to know.”
At this point, it’s not definitive whether Rivian will significantly delay product launches in the wake of coronavirus. That’s an understandable outcome, and it’s good the automaker is taking steps to protect the health of its employees. Other automakers have also delayed launches and stopped production of current models to slow the spread of coronavirus. As Rivian is in agreement to build vehicles for both Amazon and Ford, however, the key will be how quickly Rivian can ramp up once the worst of the danger has passed.
To that end, the company did provide a short progress update video on their factory below. We’ll have to wait and see how the company handles the coming weeks and months toward its launches.
H/T to Electrek for the information.