Croatia’s Rimac to be Bugatti JV major shareholder

Volkswagen’s luxury sportscar unit Porsche AG and Croatian electric supercar maker Rimac Automobili have agreed to set up a joint venture that incorporates Bugatti.

The new hypercar manufacturer will be called Bugatti-Rimac.

Porsche said the Bugatti-Rimac joint venture will have its headquarters in Zagreb, Croatia, and is scheduled to be established in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Porsche said Rimac will hold a 55% share in the Bugatti-Rimac joint venture and Porsche will have 45%.

Porsche also holds a 24% share in Rimac directly.

“Bugatti will be brought into the joint venture by current owner Volkswagen,” said Porsche.

“The shares will then be transferred to Porsche.

“Combining the genes of two strong brands, Bugatti-Rimac will form an attractive automotive company – for customers as well as for employees.”

Porsche said that under the umbrella of the new company, the Bugatti and Rimac brands will initially produce two hypercar models — the Bugatti Chiron and the all-electric Rimac Nevera.

“Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. will continue to exist in the new joint venture,” said Porsche.

“Bugatti models will still be produced at the Bugatti factory in Molsheim, France … Jointly developed Bugatti models are planned for the longer term.”

Rimac said: “As part of the deal, the newly-formed Rimac Group will be the major shareholder with a 55% stake.

“Mate Rimac will retain his original shareholding in Rimac Group at 37%, with Porsche at 24%, Hyundai Motor Group doing the same at 12% and other investors at 27%.

“The development, production and supply of battery systems, drivetrains and other EV components that Rimac is known for and trusted by many automotive manufacturers will be separated into a new entity – Rimac Technology, which will be 100% owned by the Rimac Group.

“Rimac Technology will remain an independent company working with many global car manufacturers.

“Mate Rimac will lead the new company.

“As CEO of Rimac Group, he will run both Bugatti Rimac and the new division, Rimac Technology.

“Bugatti and Rimac will both continue as separate respective brands, retaining existing production facilities and distribution channels.

“Bugatti Rimac represents the company that will develop the future of both Bugatti and Rimac vehicles, by joining resources and expertise in research and development, production, and other areas.

“Rimac Group will continue to innovate, creating both its own hypercars, as well as developing systems and technologies for many global OEMs. Such innovative technology can also be deployed in future Bugatti and Rimac models.

“Both brands will continue to operate independently, with Rimac Automobili retaining its current premises on the outskirts of Zagreb, Croatia and Bugatti production continuing in Molsheim, France.

“In time, Bugatti Rimac’s global headquarters will be situated at the recently announced Rimac Campus, also serving as the home of Rimac Technology.

“The €200M, 100,000m2 campus, due to open in 2023, will be the base for all research and development of future Rimac and Bugatti hypercars.

“With high-tech innovation at its core, the state-of-the-art site will accommodate 2,500 like-minded people driven by curiosity and a desire to push things to the absolute limit.”

Rimac Automobili founder and CEO Mate Rimac said: “This is a truly exciting moment in the short, yet rapidly expanding history of Rimac Automobili.

“We have gone through so much in such a short space of time, but this new venture takes things to a completely new level.

“Rimac and Bugatti are a perfect match in terms of what we each bring to the table.

“As a young, agile and fast-paced automotive and technology company, we have established ourselves as an industry pioneer in electric technologies.

“With the Nevera, we have also proven that we can develop and manufacture outstanding hypercars, that are not only fast but also exciting and high-quality.

“Bugatti, with over a century of experience in engineering excellence, also possesses one of the most exceptional heritage of any car company in history.”

“We have just launched our latest hypercar – the Nevera – to universal global acclaim.

“So I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am by the potential of these two incredible brands combining knowledge, technologies and values to create some truly special projects in the future.”

Oliver Blume, chairman of the executive board at Porsche AG: “We are combining Bugatti’s strong expertise in the hypercar business with Rimac’s tremendous innovative strength in the highly promising field of electromobility.

“Bugatti is contributing a tradition-rich brand, iconic products, a loyal customer base and a global dealer network to the joint venture.

“In addition to technology, Rimac is contributing new development and organisational approaches.”

Porsche started a partnership with Rimac three years ago.

“This joint venture is the provisional culmination of a strategic chain of investments,” said Lutz Meschke, member of the Porsche executive board for finance.

““We already purchased the first shares in Rimac in 2018 and have successively increased our shareholding since then.

“We established a close relationship with Mate and his extremely innovative team very early on.

“We are now benefiting from that.

“Thanks to its know-how, Rimac will now help us to successfully lead an emotive and important brand into the future. I am very proud and delighted that we have brought this joint venture to fruition in spite of many challenges.

“Today is a good day for Bugatti and Rimac, Porsche and also for the Volkswagen Group.”

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.