Rivian cuts about 50 non-manufacturing jobs at Normal | Local company

NORMAL – Rivian Automotive has confirmed that “just over 50” positions at its normal plant were affected by a company-wide reorganization last week.

The jobs affected were non-manufacturing positions, the California-based electric vehicle maker said in a statement, noting that increasing production is one of its top priorities. CEO RJ Scaringe previously stressed that manufacturing operations would not be affected by the cuts.






Scaring


Across all facilities, the workforce of about 14,000 people has been reduced by 6%, the company said. All planned reductions were completed by Friday afternoon.

Scaringe informed employees of the staff cuts in a company-wide letter on Wednesday.

“Over the past six months, the world has changed dramatically, with inflation reaching record highs, interest rates rising rapidly and commodity prices continuing to climb – all of which have contributed to the tightening of global financial markets” , Scaringe said. “We need to be able to continue to grow and scale without additional funding in this macro environment.”

The company had $17 billion in cash at the end of the first quarter and remains “financially well positioned” but needs to restructure to support “sustainable growth”, Scaringe said.

Rivian’s operations at Normal are generally manufacturing-focused and have included significant facility expansion efforts. It employed about 6,000 people at the facility that summer.

“We believe we are well positioned to drive local growth, including with the nearly 1,500 regional hires we remain on track this year and adding a second team to our production workforce,” said the company said on Friday.

The company is also building a second $5 billion assembly plant in Georgia, which is expected to produce Rivian’s next-generation EV platform.

In an interview last week with WMBD-TVScaringe said the company’s manufacturing operations continue to grow and Rivian is hiring workers for those positions.

“We have tried to be very clear that any changes we make structurally regarding the business will not affect the plant,” he said.

Bloomberg first reported on July 11citing unnamed “people familiar with the matter”, that Rivian was considering cuts focused on non-manufacturing roles. Reports say the cuts could affect 5% of the company’s 14,000 employees.

Later that night, Scaringe confirmed in an email to employees that the company was considering cuts. He said decisions would be made to align the workforce with strategic goals, rather than just as a mechanism to cut spending.

“We will always focus on growth,” he said, “however, Rivian is not immune to the current economic circumstances and we need to ensure that we can grow sustainably.”

Here is the full statement the company released Friday to the Pantagraph:

“This week, Rivian realigned our workforce with key business priorities, including ramping up vehicle production and manufacturing. While members of our manufacturing operations team in Bloomington-Normal were not impacted , just over 50 non-manufacturing positions in our plant have been affected by the reorganization. Since this summer, the plant has employed approximately 6,000 people. We believe that we are well positioned to stimulate local growth, in particular thanks to the nearly 1,500 regional hires that we remain on track to complete this year and adding a second shift to our production workforce.”

The Chicago Tribune contributed to it.

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