Electric vehicle startup Rivian recently hired GM design engineer Alex Archer. The 27-year-old Stanford University graduate previously led development of the new power sliding center console feature offered in GM’s latest next-generation SUVs, including the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe, 2021 Chevrolet Suburban, and 2021 GMC Yukon / Yukon XL.
Back in February, we covered a profile on Archer wherein she divulged the process and work that went into developing the new power sliding center console. According to a recent Detroit Free Press report, Archer is named on the GM patent for the feature.
Now, the former GM design engineer will go to work as a design and release engineer at Rivian, starting June 22nd.
“We are always looking for talent that performs best in the tension between the excitement of building something new, and the important learning that comes from established products and processes,” said Rivian Chief People Officer Helen Russell in a statement to Detroit Free Press. “We’re excited to have people like Alex coming on board because they represent the best of that balance.”
The former GM design engineer’s departure comes amid General Motors’ continuing push to develop and introduce new electric vehicles. The automaker is currently spending billions of dollars annually to launch 20 new EVs by 2023. These include the new GMC Hummer EV pickup truck, as well as the new Cadillac Lyriq electric crossover.
Meanwhile, Rivian, which received a $500 million investment from GM’s crosstown rival, Ford Motor Company, aims to build 100,000 midsize electric vans for Amazon starting next year. General Motors has plans to build its own all-electric work van, with production ramping up later in 2021 at the automaker’s Detroit-Hamtramck production facility.
According to the recent Detroit Free Press report, Rivian currently has nearly 2,200 employees working across all departments, up from 800 employees in April of 2019. The company has employees across the U.S., as well as offices in the U.K. and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Former GM Design engineer Alex Archer is just the latest General Motors employee to join the Rivian team. Other hires include former GM lead project engineers Jordan Nizza and and Roger Olle.