Acquisitions, Mergers & PartnershipsAutomotive

EV maker Rimac acquires controlling interest in Bugatti

Newly formed Bugatti Rimac will see participation by Porsche, Hyundai

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Rimac Automobili has acquired a controlling interest in the iconic (VW-owned) automotive brand, Bugatti Automobiles. The Croatian company will work with the VW Group, which will maintain a minority stake in both Rimac and the new Bugatti Rimac (via Porsche), to create a new automotive and technological powerhouse. In just 10 years, Rimac Automobili has progressed from a one-man garage start-up to announcing a new company with one of the world’s most iconic car brands to create Bugatti Rimac d.o.o.

Bugatti has been leading advancements in terms of implementing AM in chassis and car body parts production but the French brand was in serious need of electrification, with none of its models currently offering any EV or hybrid capabilities. That’s because Bugatti is generally a synonym for the highest standards of quality in automotive. If the company is going to move into electric it needs to do so at the highest levels. Rimac will be able to benefit from Bugatti’s unique, 110-years-long experience in building the world’s most advanced cars while contributing its own state-of-the-art EV technology. Additional support will come from other minority stakeholders in the new company, including Porsche and Hyundai.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Mate Rimac, Founder and CEO of Rimac Automobili 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 is 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.”

In an industry evolving at ever-increasing speed, flexibility, innovation and sustainability remain at the very core of Rimac’s operations. The Croatian-based brand has proven that it can not only keep up but be the trailblazer, setting the performance and technological benchmark for others. Uniting Rimac’s technical expertise and lean operations with Bugatti’s 110-year heritage of design and engineering prowess represents a fusion of leading automotive minds.

“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,” added Mate Rimac.

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.

“We are combining Bugatti’s strong expertise in the hypercar business with Rimac’s tremendous innovative strength in the highly promising field of electromobility,” said Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board at Porsche AG. “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 organizational approaches.”

Rimac is no stranger to the possibilities that AM can offer. In 2020 the company launched the Rimac Design Challenge. The winning design was the Rimac Scalatan, a spectacular concept by Max Schneider which offered a unique window into what our world and the transport industry could look like in 2080. The car comes with a stunningly aerodynamic carbon-nanotube graphene outer surface that sits on top of a generative-design chassis made from 3D printed titanium graphite. This organic-looking chassis gives the car its structure and strength, while also being hollow on the inside to store the car’s lithium-oxygen batteries. These batteries react with oxygen (from air that passes through the chassis as the car drives) to produce lithium oxide that’s converted into energy. The idea is that the Scalatan actually breathes air like a living organism.

 

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.

Lutz Meschke, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board and Member of the Executive Board for Finance and IT at Porsche AG concluded: “We bought the first shares in Rimac already three years ago and have successively increased them since then. This enabled us to build a close relationship with Mate and its highly innovative team at an early stage,” he said. “Now we are benefiting from this. Rimac is helping us with its know-how to successfully lead an emotional and important Group brand into the future. I am very proud and happy that we have brought this joint venture to the finish line despite numerous challenges. Today is a good day for Bugatti, Porsche and the entire Volkswagen Group.”

Research 2021
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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based 3dpbm. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore, as well as 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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