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NORMAL — Rivian Automotive, which is in negotiations to buy the now-closed Mitsubishi Motors North America plant in Normal, is an automotive technology company that plans to develop and manufacture sports cars.

In 2011, the White House recognized Rivian CEO Robert J. Scaringe as a Champion of Change for the advocacy and advancement of efficiency in the automotive industry. He also was selected as Entrepreneur of the Year by the governor's office in Florida.

He promotes lean manufacturing and automotive efficiency during lectures and presentations around the country.

Founded in 2009 by Scaringe, Rivian was originally formed as Mainstream Motors Inc., and in 2010, changed its name to Avera Motors.

Industry stories published online said that a year later, the company changed its name to Rivian Automotive, in part to save the company from a costly trademark infringement lawsuit over the use of the Avera name, which Hyundai officials said too closely resembled the Azera nameplate.

The company is based in Livonia, Mich., and has development operations in Michigan and California.

As of yet, there is no indication that any cars have been manufactured.

The company's website remains under development.

Scaringe, who will attend Monday’s Normal City Council meeting, is a graduate of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan Automotive Laboratory. In media interviews, he has described himself as an auto expert and avid car enthusiast who enjoys restoring vintage Porsches.

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​Follow Kevin Barlow on Twitter: @pg_barlow

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