I think they would be wiser to spend that on getting the service centers set up and getting the existing factory running smoothly, rather than going off building a second brand new factory. They are even talking about a new factory in Europe as well. Tesla went slower early on and still struggled with production.
Fair points, but Rivian is much better managed, and has a lot more proven talent than Tesla did originally. As for service centers , that is a high priority in markets as you need them, but not faster. Getting production going is by far the highest priority. You need to get revenue coming in to offset the expenses, and slow the cash burn. They have enough service centers up now to support their first 6 months of production, and then they should slowly open them in only the markets with the most pre orders.
Comparing Rivian to 2012 Tesla as they were starting to deliver Model S, there is no comparison. Tesla was under financed (basically month to month on cash flow, borrowing employees credit cards to buy parts), under staffed, down on engineering, down on experienced factory workers. and had an old derelict of a factory and just enough tooling in the corner to basically build a few Models S a day. Rivian is spoiled, $17B in the bank (more cash than Tesla has had at any point in their history prior to 2020), a fully equipped factory set up for 3 unique products which are basically fully engineered at this point. Strong engineering team, strong management team, and now they just have to learn to execute, meanwhile the teams that set up Normal can start to work on their next USA factory. I do not think Rivian will start to expand manufacturing into Europe before 2025, they should concentrate on the home market first, can always ship overflow to Europe like Tesla did.... but with 3 unique products right off the bat, I do to see Rivian runninging into demand issues for the next 5 years at least.