Made in Croatia

Rimac Automobili Keeps Staff and Wage Levels, Investors Remain Interested

Rimac Automobili Keeps Staff and Wage Levels, Investors Remain Interested

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Bernard Ivezic writes on the 18th of June, 2020, Mate Rimac recently opened a new factory in Zagorje, more precisely in Veliko Trgovišće, which is intended exclusively for the serial production of his electric vehicles. The new factory should enable Rimac Automobili to start delivering finished C_Two vehicles to customers as early as next year.

Noting that during this year, Rimac Automobili plans to publish the final design and name of the vehicle, given that the C_Two is still being treated as a prototype, and not the final, homologated vehicle, or a finished product. Initially, the first deliveries to customers were supposed to be made by the end of this year, but this was slowed down by the coronavirus crisis and the quarantine.

The brand new Zagorje plant covers 5036 square metres in total and represents a 60 percent increase in the Rimac Automobili's overall production capacities. Namely, in Sveta Nedjelja, where its headquarters are located, the company has a production plant, a centre for R&D development and other departments on an area covering ​​8345 square metres.

The plant in Veliko Trgovišće, as has since been learned, is a continuation of the expansion of the company's business and won't replace the existing plant in Sveta Nedjelja near Zagreb. Rimac Automobili isn't giving up on the project it announced last year near the Kerestinec castle, on an area covering ​​250,000 square metres. Mate Rimac then pointed out that he wanted to have the company's future headquarters, R&D centre, factory, test site and campus with various facilities located there in Kerestinec.

State Property Minister Goran Maric and Sveta Nedelja Mayor Dario Zurovec have already prepared the ground for the campus by signing a 6.5m-kuna state land donation agreement. Mate Rimac says they're sticking to the plans.

''We're accelerating the production of prototypes, so this new investment is necessary for us to be able to deliver vehicles to our customers next year. We're still working on the campus project, our long-term location, but given the size and timeline of that project, it's imperative that we have the appropriate facilities in place by then,'' Mate Rimac explained.

In the new plant, Rimac Automobili will produce thirteen C_Two prototypes by the end of this year, which will be used for testing and homologation. Most of these vehicles will be destroyed in crash tests and other tests.

So far, the company has produced a total of four. Rimac Automobili plans to make a global homologation for the C_Two model so that it can be sold worldwide in the final version in the same way as the vehicles of all other brands have been. All of this includes the production of ten vehicles in pre-series production, which is also something they intend to realise by the end of 2020.

The company explained that full homologation, without any shortcuts, is a process that takes three to four years from the first concept to full prototypes and finally to actual vehicles out on the road. Rimac Automobili is sticking to those deadlines, and the first C_Two was presented at the Geneva Motor Show back in 2018.

"The only way to accomplish all of this is through rigorous crash tests that require different prototypes, each with a specific purpose, so, for example - some prototypes from the plant in Veliko Trgovišće will go directly to crash testing, and others will be used for other types of tests,'' noted Rimac.

In order to be able to produce the required number of vehicles by the end of the year, and thus to test future serial production, the company opened this new plant in Zagorje. Its initial production capacity is four vehicles per month. In addition, they have shortened the production process to five weeks and it is now twice as fast. The new plant consists of five main zones.

''We’ve worked hard to bring the C_Two to the level it's at now and I want our customers around the world to feel the enjoyment of 1914 horsepower in a fully electric hyper vehicle,'' said Rimac, adding that he is proud that they achieved all this in the die conditions created by the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

"We didn't reduce the number of employees or their salaries," said Rimac. He noted that investors are still following their moves. Last September, Porsche increased its stake from 10 to 15.5 percent. The first investors in Rimac Automobili appeared six years ago. Then Colombian Frank Kanayet Yepes, Chinese Sinocop Resources and the owner of Forbes invested 10 million US dollars in the first investment round.

It was the first investment in a technology startup based here in Croatia. A year later, Rimac Automobili won its first major development deal. Three years ago, the Chinese Camel Group invested a massive 30 million euros in Rimac Automobili. A couple of years ago, Mate Rimac presented the amazing C_Two, agreed with Camel to build a factory in China worth one billion kuna, won a 600 million kuna R&D deal and received an investment of 18.7 million euros from Porsche in exchange for a 10 percent stake in the company.

After that, Hyundai and KIa invested huge amounts. The company's financial indicators for 2019 are not yet known. According to Poslovna Hrvatska (Business Croatia) in 2018, Rimac Automobili had revenues of 72.7 million kuna, a loss of 19.9 million kuna and investments in fixed assets of as much as 174.6 million kuna.

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