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State, local officials offer $1.5B to land Rivian project

J. Scott Trubey and Greg Bluestein, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Automotive News

Kasia Tarczynska, a senior research analyst at left-leaning incentives watchdog Good Jobs First, said states like Georgia strike generous deals in secret without public input.

“Job creation and investment is extremely important. But with that, (Rivian) will bring people, development and kids in schools,” she said. “Every development comes with growth. That needs to be paid for. It’s so important for companies to pay their fair share.”

High-tech deals, like Wisconsin’s now-ruined grand dreams for Foxconn, don’t always succeed. But if successful, Rivian could help the state retain high-achieving graduates and spur an economic boom in a rural stretch between Atlanta and Augusta.

Wilson said the state and local expenditures will help Rivian bring its products to market faster.

“Ultimately their speed to market and long-term success benefits the state of Georgia,” he said.

 

Some local residents worry the plant will upend their rural way of life, bringing more traffic and development. Chas Moore, a local opposition leader who owns an auto repair shop, said it’ll be harder for him to hire workers.

“We’re subsidizing a private industry that’s going to be in direct competition with us,” he said. “If this company is sitting on so much cash, why are the Georgia taxpayers funding it?”

Rivian has said it plans to begin production in 2024 at the Georgia plant, where it eventually expects to be able to manufacture up to 400,000 vehicles a year.

Cox Enterprises, owner of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, also owns about a 4% stake in Rivian and supplies services to the company. Sandy Schwartz, a Cox executive who oversees the AJC, is on Rivian’s board of directors and holds stock personally. He does not take part in the AJC’s coverage of Rivian.

©2022 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Visit at ajc.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
 

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