Rivian hires plant manager, prepares to break ground on Georgia EV plant

Rivian hires plant manager, prepares to break ground on Georgia EV plant

Electric vehicle startup Rivian has announced that Arnhelm Mittelbach has joined the team as its first plant manager in Georgia. Mittelbach joins Rivian with more than 20 years of experience at Mercedes-Benz, as the electric car maker prepares to break ground on its second electric vehicle factory.

Rivian will begin construction of its second factory early next year in Georgia. The factory will be home to R2’s next generation products.

R2’s products will be cheaper than its current electric models as it looks to expand its market. Prices for both Rivian’s current R1T and R1S electric trucks start at more than $70,000.

CEO RJ Scaringe said in June that the R2 lineup would start around $40,000 to $45,000. The R2 lineup will be revealed next year.

The first production phase is also expected to begin next year, with an annual capacity of about 200,000 cars once completed. Rivian is planning a second phase, adding up to 400,000 electric vehicles annually by the end of the decade.

Rivian is taking what it has learned from enhancing the R1 series to simplify the manufacturing process with the R2 lineup. Although Scaringe said the R2 lineup will have a “very, very different vehicle architecture” than the R1, the company says it will “remain very much Rivian.”

Rivian Factory Manager
Rivian R1T (Source: Rivian)

Rivian hires former Mercedes executive as Georgia plant manager

Rivian announced that Mittelbach began his position as director of the Georgia plant on November 1. The former Mercedes-Benz CEO will report directly to COO Frank Klein.

Mittelbach has more than 20 years of experience with Mercedes-Benz. He previously served as Plant Manager in East London, South Africa, and President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Vans in Charleston, South Carolina. He also held several manufacturing roles in Germany.

Rivian Factory Manager
Site plan for Rivian’s Georgia factory (Source: Rivian)

Klein said he was “thrilled” with the hire, saying: “He brings tremendous experience in ramping up new plants and launching new products.”

Rivian launched an apprenticeship program last week to support the development of trained employees at its future location in Stanton Springs North, Georgia.

Rivian-Georgia-Plant Manager
Exterior view of Rivian’s future facility in Georgia (Source: Rivian)

The program will help “create a pipeline of talent that will help us hit the ground running once the facility is up and running,” Scarring said. The electric car maker plans to employ about 7,500 people at the site by 2030.

Rivian recently achieved another major milestone. Its factory in Normal, Illinois, now charges every new electric vehicle with 100% clean energy. Customers will soon begin receiving cars charged for the first time entirely by wind and solar power.

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