The stock market has been mixed today, with an early morning surge in the S&P 500 index and the tech-heavy Nasdaq giving up gains as the morning progressed. But even when the market was in the green early today, shares of EV start-up Rivian Automotive (RIVN 3.98%) were tanking. After dropping as much as 7% earlier, Rivian shares were down 6.4% as of 11:35 a.m. ET.
Rivian stock has had quite a ride since its initial public offering (IPO) last fall. After more than doubling from its IPO price, Rivian shares are down 40% so far in 2022, and are more than 20% below its $78 IPO price.
Several billionaire investors including George Soros have used that drop as an opportunity to take a stake in Rivian, according to recent filings. But shares are still dropping today, and it may be related to opposition that is growing from the community where it plans to build its second manufacturing facility.
In December 2021, Rivian announced its expansion with plans to build a second manufacturing plant to be located in Georgia. The project represents a $5 billion investment, according to the company. Now, due to increasing local opposition to the plant, locally elected officials won't be voting on rezoning related to the project, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Instead, the state of Georgia now has to step in to continue moving the project ahead. The report said hundreds of thousands of residents are against the proposed new plant. While the state will be able to push the project ahead more easily than the local government, any big facility like that ultimately needs a good relationship with the local community.
A Rivian spokesperson responded to the report saying the company will hold community meetings this spring. He added, "For us to be successful in Georgia, it's important that we spend time listening to local concerns, addressing them as best we can." Investors will be watching to see if the company can satisfy those concerns moving forward.