Company In Talks To Buy, Reopen Mitsubishi Plant

 
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., plant in Normal, Ill., is shown Thursday, May 20, 2004, where workers were awaiting an announcement that could determine the plant's fate.

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., plant in Normal, Ill., is shown Thursday, May 20, 2004, where workers were awaiting an announcement that could determine the plant's fate.

Seth Perlman/Associated Press

Vehicles could start rolling off the line at the former Mitsubishi plant in Normal if a Michigan automotive company has its way. The Bloomington Pantagraph reports that a release from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity says Rivian Automotive is in talks to purchase the 2.4 million-square-foot plant so that it can manufacture there and employ as many as 1,000 people.

The plant that at its peak employed about 3,000 workers was shut down by Mitsubishi in November of last year. The last of its employees were laid off in May of this year.
 
Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council CEO Kyle Hamm says he believes former Mitsubishi employees will be brought back to fill Rivian jobs.

The Normal Town Council has scheduled a special meeting for Monday, December 12th at 7 PM to consider an economic incentive agreement for Rivian, including a property tax abatement.

Rivian Automotive, formerly Avera Motors, was founded in Florida in 2009 as an auto design and engineering firm by automotive engineer Robert Joseph "R.J." Scaringe. In 2011, news reports mentioned company plans to develop a super-fuel-efficient sports car.

Rivian later moved its headquarters to the Detroit suburb of Livonia. In 2015, the company announced plans to open a research and development facility in Dearborn. 

(This story was updated on 12/9/16)
 

Story source: AP