Rivian shuts down all facilities over COVID-19 pandemic concerns

Rivian, the buzzy electric automobile startup that is backed by Amazon and Ford, is shutting down all of its services thanks to the spread of COVID-19, the ailment induced by coronavirus.

Rivian employs additional than 2,000 personnel across several destinations, like its headquarters in Plymouth, Mich., a manufacturing facility in Ordinary, Sick. as well as operations in San Jose and Irvine, Calif., exactly where engineers are functioning on autonomous automobile technological know-how. Rivian also has an place of work in the U.K.

The enterprise reported Friday that salaried and hourly workforce will continue on to be paid through the shutdown. Rivian told TechCrunch that most of its services have been at 2 to 5% occupancy for about a 7 days. The size of the shutdown is undetermined at this time, a corporation spokesperson claimed.

Rivian expended the the greater part of its daily life in the shadows right up until November 2018, when it disclosed its all-electric R1T pickup and R1S SUV at the LA Vehicle Show. Considering the fact that then, the electric automaker has picked up traders and commercial customers these kinds of as Ford and Amazon, in addition to the reservations customers have created for its pickup and SUV.

In December, Rivian declared it had elevated $1.3 billion in new funding, the fourth round of funds declared by the firm in 2019 by yourself. It adopted prior bulletins of $700 million led by Amazon, $500 million from Ford (which features a collaboration on electric vehicle technologies) and $350 million from Cox Automotive.

Lincoln, the luxurious manufacturer below Ford, is functioning with Rivian to create an “all-new” electric powered motor vehicle. Amazon has requested 100,000 all-electric powered shipping vans from Rivian, with the 1st deliveries predicted to start in 2021.

The world-wide COVID-19 pandemic has prompted automakers to temporarily suspend operations in Europe and the U.S., where the condition has begun to unfold. In China, where by the disease 1st started out, factories are coming again on the web.

Automakers have had various responses to the pandemic some took motion to suspend output a lot quicker than other people. Honda kicked off closures in the U.S. Ford, GM and FCA followed after the Large 3 shaped a job power with the United Automobile Workers. Even as these automakers began implementing new security safeguards in its factories based on tips that arrived out of the task drive, the UAW ongoing to strain them to near. A few of conditions of staff members tests favourable for COVID-19 accelerated the closures. Nissan and Volkswagen have also paused functions in the U.S.

Tesla has been a noteworthy holdout. The company declared Thursday it would shut down its Fremont, Calif. manufacturing unit, starting March 23. The determination to suspend generation there arrived times right after Alameda County officials issued an get to shut all nonessential corporations. Tesla stored its doors open anyway, even right after officers publicly claimed that it was not an crucial company.

Tesla has suspended functions at its New York manufacturing unit as perfectly. Tesla’s gigafactory close to Reno, Nev., which creates electrical motors and battery packs, is totally operational.

Tesla instructed staff members in an e mail despatched March 18, and considered by TechCrunch, that it was keeping open since it has had “conflicting assistance from different levels of government” above irrespective of whether it could operate. The human resources department instructed personnel in the e mail to appear to get the job done if their occupation is to create, service, supply or test its electric automobiles.

But by Thursday, and immediately after meetings with county officers, the firm declared it would suspend manufacturing. Some basic functions that will assistance Tesla’s charging infrastructure and what it describes as its “vehicle and energy providers operations” will keep on at the manufacturing unit, which less than typical situations has much more than 10,000 people doing work there.

This post at first appeared on TechCrunch.

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