​​A Georgia Judge's Ruling Could Heavily Impact Rivian's Goals

Rivian is desperate to build a new factory in Georgia and ramp up production. Will one judge squash their dreams in the South?
Written by Andrew Koole
Reviewed by Serena Aburahma
Oct 20, 2022
Rivian, the Irvine California-based
electric vehicle
startup, and last year’s
stock market
darling has had a rough 2022. In January, the new automaker was forced to cut projected production numbers to 25,000 units because of the chip shortage.
Good news came the same month when the company announced it planned to build a second assembly plant in Georgia, but it wasn’t enough to help weather the drop in investor confidence that led all EV stocks to plummet in April.  
Now, a recent court ruling puts the proposed assembly plant in jeopardy.
Jerry
, your car insurance super app, has the details.

Rivian’s property tax exemption in Georgia on the ropes

Georgia offered Rivian a
sweet deal
in late 2021. The state essentially leased 2,000 acres of free land to the new company. The deal, worth approximately $1.5 billion, would give Rivian space in two counties, Morgan and Walton, to employ 7,500 people.
But
Fortune
says Morgan County Judge Brenda Trammel unexpectedly threw out the plan in October, stating that the development authority that asked her to validate the deal hadn’t proved that the project was “sound, reasonable, and feasible.”
Judge Trammel also ruled that Rivian should pay property taxes for the leased land because of how much control the company would have over it.
The development authority, which originally courted Rivian with the incentives and represents four surrounding county governments, is considering an appeal to the decision.

Rivian’s goals in Georgia

The proposed
assembly plant
east of Atlanta would be Rivian’s biggest facility. Right now, the Amazon and Ford-backed EV maker only has one factory on just over 400 acres of land in Normal, Illinois. 
When fully operational, Rivian hopes the Georgia plant will produce 400,000 vehicles a year, equipping the brand to expand its business. The company hoped to break ground on the project this coming summer and begin production in 2024. 
It’s unclear whether the court ruling will delay that goal, as Rivian is yet to respond or comment. But right now, it’s a win for the residents that oppose the construction of the plant. 
And in the future, it could keep officials from using the common legal maneuver to encourage business in the state.

Georgia court ruling could keep Rivian production at a trickle

Rivian seems caught in a Catch-22. With only one running factory, it’s struggled to keep up with demand for its two electric vehicles, the R1T and R1S. 
The production problems are causing investors to back out, resulting in a drain on the company’s cash reserves. But that lack of funding is in part why Judge Trammel ruled against the EV maker’s tax break deal offered by Georgia State leaders to build another factory.
The slow assembly of Rivian’s vehicles is already affecting
deliveries
. But if you manage to get your hands on one, the reviews for these two EVs are amazing. 
And even though their luxury car prices can make car insurance expensive, Jerry can help you find an affordable policy. A licensed broker that offers end-to-end support, the Jerry app gathers affordable quotes, helps you switch plans, and can even help you cancel your old policy.
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