Rauner Criticizes Rivian for not employing, "well over 1,000 people"; despite the company being ahead of estimates

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner with Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe at Rivian's 2.8M SQFT Factory in Normal in March 2017. (Photo: Rauner/Twitter)

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner with Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe at Rivian's 2.8M SQFT Factory in Normal in March 2017. (Photo: Rauner/Twitter)

At a press conference in Springfield, Illinois Governor Rauner Bruce Rauner fired off harsh words at automotive startup Rivian. 

"That plant should have well over 1,000 people today. And that plant should have brought hundreds of millions of dollars today," said Rauner, in response to a reporter's question. 

Contradictory to Rauner's comments, Rivian appears ahead of schedule to employ 400 people across the country by the end of the year. The company is also ahead of their employment objectives at the facility in Normal. AdaptBN learned last week that Rivian already employs north of 325 people across the country and is still on track for production in 2020. 

This isn't the first time Rauner has made confusing statements surrounding Rivian's involvement in the state. In an interview earlier this year Rauner stated, “No auto company wants to invest in Illinois because of Madigan’s power, because of regulations and the taxes."

Rauner's comments came just mere months after he toured the facility with Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe. 

Scaringe has previously praised Rauner for his assistance in their expansion into the state. Telling AdaptBN, "His office is enormously helpful," in an interview earlier this year. 

"They sort of were pretty much given the plant," Rauner told Bernie Schoenburg, a political reporter for The State Journal-Register on Tuesday. Rivian paid $16M in cold hard cash for the plant and its contents in January 2017. 

Go Further: Stealth EV startup Rivian receives $50M state tax credit and praise from IL Governor (Teslarati)

While Rivian hasn't disclosed the amount of funding the company has raised, it can be assumed to be a massive amount. The company's payroll of 325 employees alone costs well into the 8-digit range and growing every day. LinkedIn data shows that the company is still hiring at a fast rate, with 12 new hires in the first half of May alone.

It's unclear why Rauner is taking jabs at Rivian, but the company said in a statement to AdaptBN that, "Rivian is excited to be part of the Bloomington-Normal community.  We purchased the 2.6 million square foot manufacturing facility and its contents in 2017 for $16 million in an all-cash deal and only received performance-based incentives for future job creation and investment. Rivian has exceeded our target job creation numbers for 2018 and we are on track with plant improvements to produce our vehicles for the start of sales in 2020."

Rewind: Rivian Hires CFO from Harley Davidson, General Counsel from DC Firm