Rivian: One year later

By:  Diane Benjamin

A reader sent this story to me from one year ago:     http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/columnists/ct-rivian-mitsubishi-robert-reed-1214-biz-20161214-column.html

The title of the story is:

Who is the mysterious auto startup that wants

to bring jobs back to a shuttered Mitsubishi plant in Normal?


We don’t know any more today than we knew a year ago even though this quote is in the story:

We do know the Normal taxpayers are paying for security and grounds maintenance.  We know recalled Volkswagens are being stored there.

A little more from the story:

Waiting . . . Waiting . . . Waiting

Maybe the Chamber of Commerce can explain.







  1. They have been busy… how many work there now? 12? They will never build a car because it takes deep pockets (millions) to start a car in production and so far their finances are secret. Koos and company were fools to be sold this snake oil company and its mystery car. Yes pointing and laughing is going on all around the country thanks to the leadership in Normal. Perhaps it would have made a little sense to not try to raise Mitsubishi’s property taxes to the point they had to take legal action? Normal…your golden goose flew away because you wanted to tax them to death. No one talks about this of course.


  2. So, what is the mysterious economic impact so far?


    • Workingman says:

      Haha! Good one. Maybe the same people that put together the make-believe Route 66 economic impact reports can help Koos and the EDC with some pretend stats.


  3. Angela S. says:

    Oh, Diane. I will be long gone before anyone sees a boost to the economy from this. I hope I am wrong!


  4. Workingman says:

    Some EDC and Town of Normal insiders tell me that this had more to do with finding a way to prevent the building from decaying and facing a date with the wrecking ball. Rivian is subleasing small pieces of the plant to various community organizations. Normal is trying to extend the life of the plant until a large company relocates to the facility. Good luck with that! It will take a miracle. Illinois = horrible business climate. Normal = 90th percentile in taxes in Illinois. I’ve urged the EDC and Chamber to get R.J. Scariange to give a tour, make a public appearance…anything to show progress. They say he’s super secretive and doesn’t want to appear in public. Hmmm…something to hide, R.J.? Maybe our tax dollars, perhaps?


  5. Just about 20 minutes worth of research before they fell for the Rivian scam could have told one of the not too bright bulbs that Rivian is, was, will always be, and has always been a scam, through and through. I swear to God these people are as gullible as 2 year olds and have zero research skills.


  6. Disgruntled Dave says:

    But, but, but the town council and officials all drove a prototype Rivian car…..but not one thought to whip out their phone to snap a pic.


    • Yes, and something tells me SOME are gullible children, but SOME are in on the scam from the get go – birds of a feather and all that – It seems the mystery “car” is hidden inside the plant – this whole thing is just a comedy but a very dark one, because some people suffer because of their “joke” of a car company, but the scammers make out like bandits, then, as they have done before, it’s off to the next town to flim flam the yokels and get in with the city scammers, make some bucks and get outta Dodge or Normal, or wherever else.


  7. Seems they have taken down on their website the videos taken in the empty plant that gave the impression they actually were building a car. Those of us that worked in the plant could tell the videos were just using the interior shots in the plant to recreate the illusion. They are just designers nothing more or less. They will never build a car the whole thing was to make Koos look good after he failed to keep Mitsubishi here. Those that came to work at the plant from Caterpillar and all the efforts they made in sabotaging the line to slow production did not help in the least. Something they learned and got by with at CAT.

    They should pay for lawn maintenance and security I think like Renner this is illegal miss use of public funds. But no one to investigate and laws do not matter in the State of the democrats I mean Illinois.


  8. COMING SOON https://www.rivian.com/ Oh right like grand jury indictment of Renner COMING SOON in a year or so once he can make sure Ameila or Black can be groomed with more Dicky Durbin money and others from outside our state coming in getting the vote out. Bioomington and Normal are laughed at by the real professional developers and taken advantage of by _____________ heads.


    • On the “COMING SOON!” – now, you know someday they ARE going to produce that magic car, yep, gonna happen, any year now, just you wait and see….


  9. garibaldi says:

    Who is the Volkswagon corp paying rent to for storing their cars there. Seems like the taxpayers should get some of the revenue from the storage fees. hahahaha! Merry Christmas taxpayers.!!!


  10. Workingman says:

    What are the odds that the Pantagraph will do a “year in review”? Next to nothing I assume, since they never reported Rivian’s baggage before the deal despite easily sourced information available via a basic Google search.


    • They would have had to hire a consulting team to do that specialized research for them though and that would have meant spending at least 5-7 thousand dollars.


      • Right-they would spend good money for something a ordinary person can come up with in a 10 minute research session on Google. These guys are not ever going to build a car. They need to hire real car people from the real car industry. This is not something that you just do without any experience. Where are the hires for engineering, skilled trades, purchasing, tool and die and management? They have hired zero as far as anyone knows. Are they making dies somewhere for the stamping shop? You need to have stamping dies to stamp car body parts. Nothing is started? It takes at least normally to take a car from design to production about 18 months (for an experienced car maker with a existing plant). They will have to hire many skilled people away from existing car makers to even get started on mass production. Where are these people? Have them moved into town in secret? No – they haven’t hire anyone yet because they never plan to really make a car. Koos and company are fools and anyone who knows anything about the auto industry is pointing and laughing at them right now.


    • Yes and the Pantagraph will also not report on the ongoing disruption and true downsizing of State Farm. Forget about how much you think your house is worth because in less than 6 more months the glut of State Farm laid off houses will lower your home’s value by 20%. In some situations (high value homes) you will not be able to find a buyer. And our local paper is silent? Our local radio stations are silent? Our Chamber of Commerce is silent? Our EDC is silent? Our City governments are silent? Our mayors are silent?


  11. I don’t remember what day it was that I recently drove by there. I didn’t see any vehicle near the main plant. It looked pretty abandoned to me.

    Now as for electric cars it would seem to me Tesla is having some financial problems.

    I just don’t see any vehicle being produced here. In my opinion it was just a scam.

    Good grief what is VW going to do with all of those cars? That’s a lot of vehicles.


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