JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Mike Parson’s administration is not saying whether it has entered the sweepstakes to bring an electric car manufacturing facility to Missouri.
But, with California-based Rivian in the hunt for a second factory to build its electric vehicles, economic development officials said Tuesday that the state would be a “competitive location” for the plant.
“The State of Missouri is closely following investment opportunities within the electric vehicle industry, from vehicle assembly and production to battery manufacturing,” said Katie Blake, spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Economic Development.
Blake added, “We are not able to confirm any specific project activity at this time.”
People are also reading…
Rivian said last week that it is scouting locations for a second plant as production begins to ramp up at its manufacturing facility in Normal, Illinois.
“As we near the start of vehicle production, it’s vital that we keep looking forward and pushing through to Rivian’s next phase of growth,” Rivian Chief Executive R.J. Scaringe said in a statement.
The company, headquartered in Irvine, California, and backed by auto giant Ford as well as T. Rowe Price and Amazon, has spent hundreds of millions of dollars building its central Illinois campus.
The facility is centered on the 2.6 million-square-foot former Mitsubishi plant and the company has added another 800,000 square feet to it since then, as well as purchased additional land for future expansion.
Reuters reported last week that multiple states have bid for the second plant, which requires an estimated 2,000 acres of land.
The project — reportedly including battery cell production — will break ground in the fall, Reuters said.
Blake said Missouri would be a good fit for the second plant.
“Our strategic location, excellent business environment, and existing assets in vehicle assembly, supplier base, and advanced manufacturing platforms would make Missouri a competitive location for any significant facility investment,” she said in a statement.
At its peak, auto assembly plants in Missouri employed more than 20,080 workers in 1996, according to the report, and with plant closures, that fell to just over 5,000 by early 2010.
According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, the state had 10,515 motor vehicle manufacturing jobs in 2018, as well as 10,015 motor vehicle parts manufacturing jobs and 2,819 motor vehicle body and trailer manufacturing jobs.
Among the existing major factories is General Motors’ Wentzville plant, where the Chevrolet Colorado, Chevrolet Express Cargo Van, GMC Canyon pickup truck and GMC Savana full-size van are built.
Rivian’s Normal plant employs more than 2,200 full-time employees and is expected to grow to nearly 4,000 within the next year.
The Illinois plant has two production lines, one to manufacture a pickup truck and an SUV, and a second line for commercial delivery vans for Amazon.
Standard 2022 truck prices start at $67,500, while the SUV starts at $70,000.