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Rauner overcorrects on Rivian

Thursday, Jan 11, 2018

* Bernie writes about how Gov. Rauner can’t seem to get his story straight on the proposed Rivian Automotive plant

Last month, Rauner brought up the former Mitsubishi plant in Normal when doing an interview on a southern Illinois radio station, telling the Carterville-based WJPF audience that he couldn’t find another auto company to buy the facility.

“No auto company wants to invest in Illinois because of (House Speaker MICHAEL) MADIGAN’s power, because of regulations and the taxes,” Rauner said in that interview.

He didn’t mention then that Rivian Automotive had purchased the plant, or that he himself had appeared there last March with its CEO.

Well, on Sunday, a Rauner campaign Twitter account had a post that said in part: “We brought Rivian Automotive and 1,500 new jobs to Normal.”

Sounds good, but the state isn’t quite there yet. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has promised $49 million in tax credits over 15 years if the company creates 1,000 new full-time jobs by the end of 2024. That state deal — granted by the Rauner administration — also initially calls for at least 35 new jobs by the end of 2018.

I still have trouble believing that this Rivian thing is really gonna happen.

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- Posted by Rich Miller        

34 Comments
  1. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 11:27 am:

    Rivian should be renamed Mirage. Ain’t no there there.


  2. - Fax Machine - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 11:29 am:

    Surprised this wasn’t on his Top Ten along with Amazon.


  3. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 11:37 am:

    –Well, on Sunday, a Rauner campaign Twitter account had a post that said in part: “We brought Rivian Automotive and 1,500 new jobs to Normal.”–

    That statement can only be a bald-faced lie or a sign of lunacy. There is no other option.

    I’m going with a lie. He’s good at that.

    Rivian has been in “business” since 2009. Not one car yet. But they’ve collected handouts in various states.


  4. - Gramski - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 11:42 am:

    49 million dollars will not go into our treasury
    But instead be kept by a car company that has never made a single car. Not even a prototype. Rivian was courted and brought here by Intersect Illinois, a for profit ( they were denied 501c3 status by the IRS) and given an EDGE tax incentive ( a program which has never been independently audited)
    Here you go Ives
    I just handed you the most stunning example of pinstripe patronage which strip mines our state of revenue.
    You could find a lot without raising taxes if you kinked the siphoning hose of EDGE and address corruption.


  5. - Sue - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 11:44 am:

    As long as an Ill No is auto plant will be unionized- it’s not going to happen that a company makes an investment for a new facility


  6. - Ron - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 11:56 am:

    Um, doesn’t sound like Rivian has earned a single $0.01 yet.


  7. - Moe Berg - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 12:12 pm:

    As usual, wordslinger has the right of it. Preposterous lie after preposterous lie from “Lyin’ Bruce.” Will make for an awesome video super-clip.


  8. - Henry Francis - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 12:25 pm:

    I’m thinking the Twitter post was written by someone who has no clue about anything to do with the Rivian plant, or how EDGE agreements work.

    Just because Rivian signed an EDGE agreement where the State promised to give them tax credits for 1,500 created jobs, doesn’t obligate Rivian to create any jobs. Rivian doesn’t get any credits unless it creates jobs. It hasn’t created jobs.


  9. - Fixer - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 12:48 pm:

    http://wglt.org/post/investor-joins-rivian-electric-automaker-staffs#stream/0

    They’re starting the staffing process up, actually.


  10. - Roman - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 12:50 pm:

    Wait, you mean Wisconsin has to run a marketing campaign to lure people from Illinois? That’s not what Scott Walker told me in Rauner’s political ad. I thought the moving vans were lined up? Perhaps the truth is a lot of young professionals earn their degrees at Wisconsin’s fine universities and then head to Chicago for work.

    And why, pray tell, are the cheese heads not running ads on south side L lines? You know, the part of town from which Chicagoans are in fact leaving for greener pastures. A lot of millennials live there too. Why, oh why? I just can’t figure it out.


  11. - TominChicago - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 12:50 pm:

    Henry Francis - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 12:25 pm:

    I’m thinking the Twitter post was written by someone who has no clue about anything to do with the Rivian plant, or how EDGE agreements work.

    So Rauner is not even in charge of his own Twitter account.


  12. - Ron - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 12:52 pm:

    Roman, you are correct. WI has a huge brain drain problem. Chicago sucks in a large amount WI’s college graduates.


  13. - Henry Francis - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 12:55 pm:

    ==I’m thinking the Twitter post was written by someone who has no clue about anything to do with the Rivian plant, or how EDGE agreements work.

    So Rauner is not even in charge of his own Twitter account.==

    Actually I would suggest it supports the opposite.


  14. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 12:59 pm:

    Is he going to overcorrect on Eric Greitens?


  15. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 1:10 pm:

    ‘Bust Out Bruce’ gets flimflammed 🎼YEAH, we got TROUBLE, ….RIGHT HERE IN Rivian City……Starts with an R….🎼


  16. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 1:12 pm:

    –As long as an Ill No is auto plant will be unionized- it’s not going to happen that a company makes an investment for a new facility–

    Ford is investing $1.1B in its South Side plants — a deal negotiated by the UAW.

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20151110/NEWS05/151119985/ford-eyes-1-1-billion-investment-in-chicago-area-factories


  17. - Ryan - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 1:44 pm:

    An in-depth Rivian article…
    http://wglt.org/post/searching-clues-rivians-electric-vehicle-future


  18. - Gramski - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 2:41 pm:

    Yes or no
    Has Rivian ever produced a prototype?
    Display at a car show?
    Nope they are making rent by parking
    VWs there for the buyback program
    No Folks- an newspaper article is not a car.
    Intersect Illinois set this farce up. Read the agreement on the DCEO. So we only get 35 employees now? Only someone pulling a fast one would agree to that. Jim Schultz was the Director of DCEO and Andrea Winters the Associate Director. They then left to found Intersect Illinois/ILBDC. Can you smell it from there? It’s not like Schultz and Winters did a lot besides set up ILBDC anyway. It’s all they worked on.
    Nope. A car company that hasn’t produced a car in 9 years is called a scam.


  19. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 2:41 pm:

    =Ford is investing $1.1B in its South Side plants — a deal negotiated by the UAW.=

    Mic drop.


  20. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 2:42 pm:

    =Nope they are making rent by parking
    VWs there for the buyback program=

    So maybe they are staffing up with valets? /s


  21. - Sue - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 3:31 pm:

    Word - big difference between updating Fords existing plant and landing a brand new operation. The UAW drives away jobs to more friendly locations. I once sat across a senior UAW official over an effort to reopen a plant in Danbury. 500 jobs at issue but we got nowhere because the Union refused any concessions which might impact their national agreements with the big 3


  22. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 3:49 pm:

    –Word - big difference between updating Fords existing plant and landing a brand new operation.–

    The difference is that the UAW landed a $1.1B deal in private capital to expand production and increase jobs while Rauner is giving away taxpayer money for a parking lot patrol.


  23. - Ron - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 3:55 pm:

    word, not a $0.01 has been given to Rivian.


  24. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 4:10 pm:

    Ron, read the deal. The tax credits started in 2016 for every employee over the baseline of zero.

    Somebody’s patrolling those lots.


  25. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 4:10 pm:

    Count AA in with the skeptics on this one. I’m a bit of a car geek, and both the buff books and the trade press I read regularly have very little confidence about this company’s prospects. The third-grader drawings of the product submitted with their patent application (nice catch, WGLT) don’t help at all.


  26. - Gramski - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 4:35 pm:

    Ron is correct. Not one cent has gone to Rivian
    But we are not going to allow one cent in corporate income taxes or withholding to come to us up to 49.5 million.
    And AA you hit it too. Look up some of the authors of articles about Rivian. Christian Prenzler and Liane Yvkoff look like it wasn’t that long ago that they got their licenses. Obviously contract writers paid s few bucks to write what they were told.


  27. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 4:49 pm:

    –Ron is correct. Not one cent has gone to Rivian–

    That would mean Rivian has not hired one employee since 11/16.

    https://www.illinois.gov/dceo/ExpandRelocate/Incentives/EDGE_Agreements/Rivian%20Automotive%20LLC.pdf


  28. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 8:34 pm:

    “Word - big difference between updating Fords existing plant and landing a brand new operation”

    On a related note, Alabama was selected as the site for the new Toyota plant IL thought it had a chance of landing - it was a real fat chance.


  29. - Henry Francis - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 9:26 pm:

    Word - they need to create at least 35 jobs by 12/31/18 before they can go in and claim credits (see Section 6a of the agreement). So come 12/31/18, if they haven’t created 35 jobs, the deal is dead.


  30. - RNUG - Thursday, Jan 11, 18 @ 9:42 pm:

    Like AA, I know a bit about specialty car manufacturers. Have a friend with an already successful auto modification business trying to get a small volume (less than 5,000 per year) classic reproduction division off the ground. In about 4 years, he has managed to go from an idea to producing both parts and complete subassemblies that are available for retrofit to existing cars, plus he has a pair of new prototypes sitting on his shop floor. All done with just a small staff.

    The point is, if my friend can do this in just a few years, where are Rivian’s prototypes?

    Oh yeah; they are sitting in Kaypro’s Package Express warehouse in Springfield …


  31. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 7:45 am:

    Meanwhile, labor unions IBEW 134 and SMART 73 along with Jobs to Move America got CSR America to build a factory on the Southside of Chicago. CSR already has orders for railcars and is already building its factory. Maybe the state of Illinois should give one of them a call and ask them for help.


  32. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 10:08 am:

    No, the CTA ordering $1,000,000,000.00 worth of train cars is what got that south side plant built.


  33. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:39 pm:

    The CTA could have bought the railcars from China and had them shipped here. Jobs to Move America, IBEW and SMART put pressure on the CTA sign up with a company only if they would move here first.


  34. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Jan 12, 18 @ 1:40 pm:

    And Illinois could do this too. How many things does the state of Illinois buy?


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