Croatian electric supercar startup Rimac will control Volkswagen’s Bugatti brand to consolidate its position as a mature car force.
The new company will be called Bugatti Rimac and will be led by Mate Rimac, who founded the group of the same name in 2009 In his garage And develop it into one of the most favored technology suppliers in the industry.
The company’s electric and battery systems have been used in cars ranging from Aston Martin and Pininfarina to Jaguar, as well as in the racing department of the Volkswagen seat brand.
Control by electrical experts is also a major starting point for Bugatti, which sells its supercars with a 16-cylinder engine and guttural sound.
However, the advent of battery technology has resulted in unmatched speeds for even the most highly tuned diesel locomotives: the upcoming Rimac Nevera is expected to be the fastest car ever, previously owned by Bugatti Chiron.
Rimac said that Bugatti will launch an electric model this decade, but will still produce hybrid models by the end of that period. “We can have two parallel and completely different product lines,” said Rimac, who compared Bugatti to a Swiss watch and Rimac to an Apple watch.
According to the transaction announced on Monday, Rimac, backed by Porsche and Hyundai, will own 55% of the new company, while Volkswagen’s Porsche brand will own the remaining shares.
This means that if Rimac’s shares are included, Porsche will control 58.2% of the final company through its existing shares in Rimac, although these companies said the automaker has not said anything about the way the combined division operates. right. Porsche boss Oliver Bloom said on Monday that no funds have changed hands in the deal.
As the German company embarks on an electric drive of 35 billion euros, this puts Rimac further under the umbrella of Volkswagen, although the Croatian company will spin off its business unit that builds technology for other automakers.
Both Bugatti and Rimac will continue to develop their brands. Although Bugatti’s production will remain in France, all of its research will be transferred to Rimac’s new headquarters in Croatia.
Mate Rimac, 32, owns 37% of the company, which is equivalent to 20.4% of the new Bugatti Rimac Group.
“Rimac and Bugatti are a perfect match in terms of what we each bring. As a young, agile and fast-paced car and technology company, we have become an industry pioneer in electric technology,” he said.
He added that the supercar business “should be self-sustaining and profitable.”
Also on Monday, Porsche’s local competitor Daimler confirmed that it will bundle its three luxury brands-AMG, G-Class and Maybach-into one business unit this fall to position itself more effectively “Top luxury and performance areas.”
Porsche’s decision to incorporate Bugatti into the joint venture will make Volkswagen investors even more hopeful that similar assets within the group will be divested or sold, which are increasingly out of sync with the company’s attempts to lead the electric transformation.
Last December, after Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess clashed with a powerful German union, the company’s supervisory board stated that “the board has agreed that Lamborghini and Ducati will remain part of the Volkswagen Group”.
In May of this year, Volkswagen rejected the 7.5 billion euro acquisition of Lamborghini by the Swiss investment agency led by Rea Stark. The latter also co-founded an electric car startup with Toni Piech, the son of the former chairman of Volkswagen. .
But the capital market is under increasing pressure to spin off these brands. “The message is “forget toys”,” said a person familiar with discussions between the public and investors.