Livonia automotive design and engineering firm Rivian Automotive LLC plans to invest $29.5 million and add 174 jobs at a new r&d center in suburban Detroit to develop high-tech vehicles, rather than court talent in Florida and Silicon Valley.
The company obtained a $1.77 million performance-based grant for the project today from the Michigan Strategic Fund, a division of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.
Rivian, founded in 2009 as a design company with a focus on concept vehicles, plans to add the jobs in engineering services, over and above its current 17 local employees. The city of Dearborn, Mich., is also considering incentives to support the new center.
“We are excited to be expanding in Michigan, and building upon the state’s great automotive DNA,” Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe said in a statement. “Michigan provides a strong environment for high-growth, high-tech companies.”
Michigan employs nearly 5,000 industrial designers, more than any other state, and has 370 automotive r&d centers. Rivian chose the location in part for access to experienced automotive engineers and proximity to the auto supplier base.
“Michigan is at the forefront of innovation in automotive design and manufacturing, and Rivian is taking its place as a leading company imagining the next ‘automotive experience,’ which translates into making sure the state’s auto industry remains competitive far into the future,” MEDC CEO Steve Arwood said in a statement.