Rivian jobs cuts expected to have ‘limited impact’ on Michigan operations

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Job cuts planned by electric truck maker Rivian Automotive Inc. will have “limited impact” on the company’s Michigan operations, according to the state.

The Irvine, Calif.-based company confirmed in an internal memo that it will rethink some operations and trim jobs as necessary. CEO RJ Scaringe told employees the company will be “thoughtful” with any staff cuts, which he plans to announce Friday, according to a copy of the memo obtained by Crain’s Detroit Business.

“We will always be focused on growth, however, Rivian is not immune to the current economic circumstances and we need to make sure we can grow sustainably,” Scaringe said in the memo. “We are working to be as thoughtful as possible as we consider any reductions.”

Rivian has a manufacturing plant in Illinois and a major engineering operation in metro Detroit. Last year a Rivian spokesperson told Crain’s that the company had doubled its employee count in Plymouth Township to more than 600.

In September, it said it planned to hire 100 more workers and invest $4.6 million into a new customer service center in Plymouth Township following the launch of its first electric pickup. It won a $750,000 performance-based grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to support the project.

“At this time there, is no indication that there will be an adverse effect on the Michigan Business Development Program assistance the company received,” MEDC spokesman Otie McKinley said in an email. “By the very nature of the performance-based grant, should that change in the future, there is a system in place to ensure that the milestones must be met in order for any funds to be distributed.”

Also in the internal memo to employees, Scaringe said Rivian is adopting “major” cost-cutting exercises, including reducing materials spending.

The memo comes after Bloomberg reported Monday that the EV maker was considering hundreds of layoffs across nonmanufacturing positions. Scaringe in his note referred to “news reports” about restructuring at the company, saying, “This is not how we intended for you to hear about this.”

Scaringe will speak at a company all-hands meeting Friday, where he will elaborate on the plans, he said in the memo. In his note to employees, Scaringe said Rivian has halted certain nonmanufacturing hires and overall expects the team to grow as production accelerates.

— Bloomberg contributed to this report.

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