Electric car startup Rivian, which is backed by Amazon and Ford among others, is looking for European locations for a new plant, according to informed sources, with Germany, the UK and Hungary among those under discussion.
The factory will first produce a delivery vehicle for Amazon and later also vehicles for private customers, as reported by the financial news agency Bloomberg, among others. According to people familiar with the processes, several countries are currently still being considered - but in addition to the three countries mentioned, possible locations "outside the European Union" are probably also being examined.
Still, the location scouting appears to be more than just political banter. According to the report, Rivian has hired real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) to conduct the site search. Rivian reportedly hopes to begin production in Europe as early as 2022.
Rivian as well as JLL as well as major client as well as investor Amazon declined to comment to Bloomberg.
Rivian has a plant in the US in the Illinois town of Normal, formerly owned by Japanese automaker Mitsubishi. Normal will be used to build both the Amazon delivery truck and Rivian's own North American models, which are based on a proprietary skateboard platform. Rivian unveiled the R1T e-pickup and R1S e-SUV in late 2018 - by the end of 2020, "launch editions" of both models had sold out in a matter of days. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in June 2021 - which would still make Rivian one of the first with an e-model in the important US market for large pickups, despite the Corona-related delay.