An online auction of equipment formerly part of the Mitsubishi manufacturing plant is being organized by Maynard's Industries for Rivian Automotive.
According to Maynard's website, the auction will sell off "over 90 well maintained Mitsubishi, Clark, Mitsubishi/Clark electric and propane fork-trucks and electric batteries." Also being sold are electric three-wheel carts, tuggers (a powered tow cart), floor scrubbers, and forklift accessories.
When asked for comment about the auction, Samantha Flynn with marketing firm Jacobson/Rost provided an emailed statement, which in part, states Rivian is "in preparation for the start of manufacturing in 2019."
Maynard's owned the entire plant at one point, purchasing it from Mitsubishi in May of 2016. The company specializes in industrial asset auction, appraisal, and liquidation services, and is a leader in selling used facilities. Rivian Automotive completed its purchased of the factory from Maynard's in January.
Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe told WGLT in December the first car will have some autonomous features and would require 500 employees by 2021. In addition to jobs, Rivian must also invest $40.5 million into plant improvements within five years before receiving a $1 million dollar grant and a five-year property tax abatement from the town and other taxing districts.
The Town of Normal heard from citizens and a candidate for Town mayor during the public comment section of the council meeting to discuss Rivian who thought Rivian's track record didn't justify the incentives. People have commented about the auction on online news groups citing the auction as evidence the manufacturer may never build a car. Town of Normal officials and Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council officials have said the company was fully vetted. The latest incentives were announced by Gov. Rauner at an event at the plant March 7. The state will give the automaker $49.5 million in tax credits over 10 years for adding 1,000 jobs. The package also depends on the number of jobs created each year and the salaries of those positions. The tax breaks are administered through the state's EDGE (Economic Development for a Growing Economy) program.
The Maynard's website says the auction will be an online "live webcast auction." Buyers may be able to preview the equipment in person. The webcast auction is in conjunction with the firm Biditup. Late this week, the date of the auction was March 30, with the preview set for March 29, but those dates have now been removed.
"Rivian is actively evaluating the condition of the plant and identifying opportunities for upgrade in preparation for the state of manufacturing in 2019," according to the statement provided by Jacobson/Rost for Rivian. "This is an on-going process that will involve reconfiguring areas of the plant while making space for production and newer equipment."
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