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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

With only 10 years, the “European Tesla” flirts with Porsche and could stay with Bugatti

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In 2007, at just 19 years old, Mate Rimac he transformed, with his own hands and based on his knowledge, his BMW E30 into an electric car. In addition, it managed to extract a power, no less, of 600 horses that allowed an acceleration from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in just 3.3 seconds. He not only demonstrated the potential of electric propulsion then, but also his own.

Just two years later, in 2009, This enterprising Croatian debuted in the automotive world with Rimac Automobili, his own company, focused on electric mobility and framed in the highest category in terms of performance. The brand new company did not take long to develop its first two prototypes, the Concep_One and Concept_Two, but not for direct marketing, but as development elements. Rimac’s business is basically based on deploying technology and selling its know-how.

Mate Rimac, the young Croatian entrepreneur who broke into the automotive world.

In the field of electric mobility Rimac solidified its trajectory quickly, always maintaining a super select company profile. In fact. of the Rimac One only a dozen units were manufactured and of the Rimac Two they plan to produce, for now, a maximum of 150 copies.

With this, it was enough for the young Croatian businessman so that many important automotive companies began to invest in his company, already perceived as a “little European Tesla”. Mate Rimac currently holds 50% of Rimac Automobili, but the rest of the shares are held by Porsche (15.5%), Camel Group (14%), Hyundai (11%) and Kia (2.7%), in addition to other investors.

Opposite Rimac could be located, by history, one of the longest-lived brands on the planet, one of the construction companies that contributed the most to the automotive industry during the last century: Bugatti. The select French house today belongs to the consortium Volkswagen, and was positioned within its conglomerate of brands as the most exclusive and extreme in terms of sportsmanship. He holds in his record fastest model on earth among production cars, the Chiron Sport, and enjoys unrivaled popularity among the most desirable brands. The most expensive car on the planet, La Voiture Noire, is also owned by Bugatti, just like the most striking designs in the industry.

There are many chances that both extremes, the brand with a centuries-old history, on the one hand; and the young start-up on the other, intersect in a very (very) near future. It transpired that the Volkswagen Group is looking to get rid of one of its brands with the aim of freeing up funds to deepen the development of electric mobility. This is reported by the specialized European media.

Rimac One: four electric motors, 1,224 horsepower and a maximum speed of 350 km / h.

According to the Car Magazine publication, Bugatti will change owners as Volkswagen would sell it to Rimac Automobili. The French brand became the jewel in the crown during the historic management of Ferdinand Piech, former head of the Volkswagen Group. Even the transformation of Bugatti was a personal gamble by Piech, Ferdinand Porsche’s grandson. During his key administration, Bugatti became what it is: the world’s most prized ultra-luxury and sporty brand. During Piech’s tenure (who died in 2019), the German group’s purchase of Porsche was also completed.

Rimac Two: 1,914 horses and less than 2 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km / h.

In principle, the board of directors of the Volkswagen group would have approved the sale of Bugatti to Rimac. Now, the same sources reveal that in exchange for receiving the French company, Rimac should cede more shareholding to Porsche (It has 15.5%). That new portion for the Stuttgart company should reach 49%.

Thus, the Volkswagen Group, owner of Porsche since 2012, would not totally lose the reins of Bugatti (which costs about 15 billion euros), but could redirect those resources towards other objectives. And the French brand, which in any case should also enter the era of electrification, would do so hand in hand with Rimac. The Croatian company would inherit everything Bugatti, from the industrial and commercial rights of the brand to the factory and headquarters in Molsheim, France. While neither party confirmed this, the deal appears close. And, a priori, with benefits for all those involved. “Business are business”.


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