Wednesday, 5 January 2022

Austrian Die Presse Praises Mate Rimac for Dogged Determination

January the 5th, 2022 - The Austrian Die Presse newspaper has praised Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac's strong will and determination, referring to him as a total outsider to the automotive world until recently.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Austrian Die Presse newspaper recently published an article entitled Croatian wunderkind must explain some things in which it writes about the "pioneer of electric motors Mata Rimac", who has ''amazed the professional world, as well as his compatriots."

The Austrian Die Presse publication writes that Rimac was initially a total outsider in the automotive industry.

“University professors told me ten years ago that it's impossible to produce a car in Croatia. And they were right - it was impossible,'' Rimac told Die Presse.

With his creative thirst for innovation, improvisation and his dogged determination and sheer strength of will, the young entrepreneur, who was born in Livno, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1988, growing up in Frankfurt, annulled all the laws of the capital-intensive car industry, and he did so in Croatia, a country that was nobody and nothing in the automotive context,'' believes the Austrian paper.

"Everything is impossible until someone does it. I wanted to show people that electric cars can be faster than conventional ones,'' Rimac told the Austrian Die Presse.

The Austrian paper writes that the Rimac Group, with its 1,100 employees, "has long since flourished into an innovative development laboratory serving international automotive companies for high-performance electric motors, propulsion systems and batteries".

"Since the takeover of Bugatti back in July, Porsche's partner Rimac has established strength in the automotive industry," the Austrian paper noted. After moving the company to the futuristic Rimac Campus, which is planned for 2023, Die Presse writes, the company's workforce is expected to increase to 2,500 employees.

The Austrian paper also noted that Rimac has so far produced just under twenty prototypes of his electric sports car, the famous Concept One, and the Nevera is planned for a limited series production of 150 cars.

"The value of the Rimac Group, which has risen sharply thanks to the share of international corporations, is already estimated at two billion dollars," writes Die Presse.

“Rimac delights his business partners and compatriots not only with vegetarian menus in the company's canteen and with open offices adapted for dogs. A casual looking bearded man, without a tie, but wearing trainers, announced his entry into Bugatti together with the bosses of Porsche,'' writes the Austrian Die Presse, pointing out that Rimac is present on social media and that he continues to showcase his "almost childish joy in driving fast cars".

"Experts consider the positive effects of Rimac's success for this Adriatic country to be enormous," the Austrian paper said. Porsche has, as we know, entered into a joint venture with the Zagreb-based IT company Infinum and is now taking over majority ownership of e-bike maker Greyp, which was also founded by Mate Rimac, according to the paper.

"Thanks to Rimac, Croatia is no longer perceived only as a country with a beautiful coastline and good food, but also as a country with a positive investment climate and innovation,'' said marketing expert Petar Tanta, as published by Die Presse.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Austrian Media on Tourism Challenges in Croatia: Worse than in War

June 3, 2020 - Austrian newspaper Die Presse and the German Rheinische Post (RP) published an article by journalist Thomas Roser entitled "Croatia: Worse Than in War", which talks about the challenges of this tourist season in Croatia. "The crisis has hit tourism-dependent Croatia hard," the article said, noting that it could be good for Croatia in the long run. reports that the beginning of the article describes the empty Opatija, which is usually full of tourists at this time of year. "Spring in Opatija is always beautiful, but this year it was strange without guests," says Radovan Lazic from the Adriatic Hotel, who adds that there were people in the hotel during the war, there were refugees, but that during the pandemic there were none.

Croatia's dependence on tourism

"Cancellation of reservations, financial pressure is growing, insecurity is growing - all this is upsetting people," Lazic describes the atmosphere in the hotel industry.

No European country is as dependent on tourists as Croatia, and they point out that the income from tourism is almost a fifth of the country's GDP. "The crisis caused by the coronavirus has, therefore, hit the newest EU member like no other: according to the Vienna Institute, Croatia will have an economic decline of 11 percent," Die Presse and RP reported.

The Croatian Adriatic will be officially open to tourists from June 15, and the congress gatherings scheduled for the spring will be postponed to the autumn.

Varteks expects a better market position

The article also cites a different example from the Croatian economy, namely Varteks, who, after a long crisis last year, was given new capital and new life, and now, in addition to tweed suits, protective masks are also sewn.

The president of the board, Tomislav Babić, is not pessimistic about the future, the article states. Babic believes that production will return from Asia to Europe. "We produce for a market that is close to us, so we can react quickly to trends, unlike the competition that imports all its goods," says Babic.

Balkans: Low wages and labor

The article points out that the Balkans could perhaps benefit from supply chain disruptions during a pandemic because now European countries will want to have production nearby instead of in Asia, and there is a workforce in the Balkans. Salaries are also not high.

"It took Croatia half a decade to recover from economic growth after the 2008 crisis. This time it could go faster: 4 percent growth is projected for 2021," the article said, adding that it would take several years to make up for this year's minus. The state's indebtedness will rise to 90 percent, so there is a possibility that "the youngest member will not be able to get closer to the EU average again, but will end up on the floor."

Increasing the number of unemployed

The cancellation of the European Capital of Culture in Rijeka is also mentioned as another blow to Croatia.

Unemployment is a particular problem, rising 32.4 percent from March to May. The current number of 160,000 unemployed could double by the end of the year, according to journalist Thomas Roser. Finally, he quotes Index and warns that "an avalanche of cancellations is yet to come."

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.