Saturday, 19 September 2020

German Media: VW, Bugatti and Rimac - A Dream Marriage

As Novac writes on the 18th of September, 2020, the German media are speculating about the possibility that Volkswagen will leave its Bugatti brand to the company owned by Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac. That could be an ideal combination - even for Porsche, writes Deutsche Welle.

Speculations that the Volkswagen Group could sell its luxury sports car brand Bugatti have been going on for some time now: Manager Magazine has already written about it, and this week the British Car Magazine announced that the new owner would be the Croatian company Rimac Automobili.

However, German media such as the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung is skeptical: "We're not declaring the future of the brand," read a statement from Bugatti's Molsheim headquarters which are located near Strasbourg. Similar things are being heard from VW's headquarters. There have already been rumours about the possible sale of other luxury brands such as Bentley and Lamborghini or the Ducati motorcycle manufacturer, recalls the German media outlet.

"Bugatti has announced that it is focusing on current affairs, there's no reason why a new owner of this brand of very expensive sports cars with 1,500 horsepower would come along. According to the latest data, the brand is operating positively, 82 vehicles were sold in 2019. (...) Bugatti is also going through the crisis relatively well this year. The coronavirus pandemic hasn't hit the luxury goods business as hard as the business of mass-produced ones has been hit, even though there is less demand there,'' the German media portal writes.

However, the Süddeutsche Zeitung is much more specific: "VW wants to sell Bugatti" it claims, and immediately in the subtitle we can read the sentence "The brand should become Croatian. Porsche has a decisive role in this business." Because the author of the Munich newspaper Georg Kacher writes that "according to unanimous sources, at least for Bugatti, the deadline has expired. VW must concentrate its resources to succeed in its ambitious investment programme with a focus on electric mobility, digitalisation and autonomous driving."

Süddeutsche Zeitung explains that Volkswagen's plan is to sell Bugatti - but to actually keep it because through its brand Porsche, it would increase its stake in the Croatian company Rimac Automobili: "According to SZ, Porsche will, in turn, increase its stake in Rimac Automobili to 49 percent. The company from Stuttgart took over ten percent of Rimac Automobili back in 2018 and later increased that share to 15.5 percent. The company, founded by Croat Mate Rimac, is one of the world's leading specialists in electromobility, battery technology and demanding electronics. A model for technical expertise is the second supersport car called the C-Two, a so-called hypercar with a 1914 horsepower powerful electric motor and unrivaled driving characteristics that is almost ready for its series production.''

The Munich-based paper speculates that this could be a "dream marriage": the price for the Bugatti would be "somewhere in the three-digit million-dollar amount for a medium size" that would come to Rimac Automobili through Porsche, and in return this German company could benefit from Rimac's know-how. "Rimac, who is only just 21 years old, for his part, could get a perfect market presence with Bugatti, along with the appropriate infrastructure for his all-electric supercars that run in minimal series,'' the German media publication writes.

The German media outlet Süddeutsche Zeitung also writes in its issue from this Friday that the management of the Volkswagen Group actually decided to accept the job last week and the only thing missing is the approval of the supervisory board of the Volkswagen Group. However, the publication adds that this "along with the probability bordering on certainty" will also mean the departure of the current head of the Bugatti brand, Stephan Winkelmann, but that neither Winkelmann nor Porsche's boss Oliver Blume wanted to comment on this.

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Friday, 18 September 2020

Unleash the Croatian Entrepreneur & Follow Infobip, Rimac, Nanobit, Infinum

September 18, 2020 - The recent successes of Infobit, Riimac Automobili, Nanobit and Infinum show the potential of the Croatian private sector. Time to unleash the Croatian entrepreneur?

Even though we have only physically met once, one of my favourite people to follow on social media in Croatia is serial entrepreneur Andrija Colak. Co-founder of Croatia's most successful franchise (Surf'n'Fries - now in 5 continents), as well as the innovative smart umbrella, Kisha (which he cheekily sent to President Putin after the World Cup Final to avoid any presidents or prime ministers getting wet due to unexpected rainfall in the future), Andrija kindly agreed to a TCN interview last year in which I asked him about the positive aspects of doing business in Croatia:

In terms of positives... well if you are up for an adventure you have come to the right place :-) Or... if you really want to test your concept and it survives in Croatia, you can conquer the world! hahah! Actually, I'm not joking.

Successful entrepreneurs here tell me that they have succeeded here not because of Croatia, but DESPITE Croatia. So many others have given up with the bureaucracy, high taxes and nepotism, take their concepts abroad and succeed there. 

But some decide to stay and try their luck here - after all, you cannot beat the Croatian lifestyle. 

I sometimes feel that I live in two countries in Croatia. The first Croatia is the same one which is familiar to all its residents, with the worsening economic situation, polarising politics, constant complaining, corruption, and negative mindset. No wonder people are emigrating. 

But the other Croatia is a totally different place, one where only positivity exists, and where I have decided to spend an increasing amount of my time and energy.

The Croatia of the Croatian entrepreneur. 

Despite the obstacles and the negative stigma attached to entrepreneurs in Croatia, these forward-thinking individuals are quietly achieving miracles DESPITE Croatia. One only wonders what could be achieved with the system supporting their efforts. Two stunning announcements in the last 24 hours are the latest in a series of great news from the Croatian entrepreneurial world, and they give a glimpse of what Croatia 2.0 can deliver to this country. And the thousands of jobs that have been created as a direct result of the business ideas of just a few individuals in a country which is in economic crisis is quite staggering. Indeed Rimac Automobili announced last week that it has hired an additional 150 workers during the pandemic, as tens of millions of jobs were being lost worldwide. Just over a decade ago, Rimac was one man in a garage. Today, the company is closing in on 1,000 employees.  

Here are just four things that have happened in the last few weeks, the first two in the last 24 hours (all are links to TCN articles with full details. 

Swedish Gaming Giant Takes Over Zagreb Company Nanobit for Almost One Billion Kuna

Car Magazine: Rimac Automobili to Takeover Bugatti

Infobip: Croatian Company Raises 200 Million US Dollars for Investment

Porsche Digital Croatia Plans to Employ 100 Experts in Next 3 Years in Infinum Partnership

The eco-system of Croatian entrepreneurial excellence is growing, and I come across this excellence daily in my second Croatia. A meeting last week at Human, for example, who earlier this year beat Google at the prestigious Webby awards, considered the Oscars of the industry. In December I was in Berlin to se Bagatin Clinic collect the award for best international cosmetic surgery clinic 2019. And one only has to spend a short time with Nenad and Rujana Bakic and their STEM revolution and exciting partnership with to know that the seeds of the future are being sown extremely well. 


Fresh from his successful initiative to introduce the digital nomad visa to Croatia, which has the potential to make a significant contribution to Croatia's economic numbers, Dutchman Jan de Jong and partner Jerko Trgolic are turning their attention to agriculture, with an initial project to grow tomatoes in northern Croatia, using Dutch technology and Croatian land and labour. The first phase will create 72 jobs in an economically depressed part of northern Croatia.

So many seeds, some of which have blossomed such as Rimac, Nanobit and Infobip, and SO many more that could do the same if they were getting the support they deserve rather than punishing taxation and bureaucracy. I have no idea how many jobs Rimac, Infobit, Nanobit and Infinum have created alone, but it is in the thousands. Imagine if the system was conducive to allowing other such ideas and concepts grow in Croatia - how many more tens and hundreds of thousands of jobs would be created? 

Last year, I met an American consultant for the medical tourism industry at a conference in Zagreb, and we talked about what needed to happen for this Croatian industry to progress (an industry with huge - here I go saying the hated 'P' word again - potential). He told me that the role of government was to provide the legislative framework for the industry to thrive, perhaps bring some financing, but most importantly, then get the hell out of the way

For many years, I bought into the story that Croatia was an economic basket case, with no prospects for employment, and that the emigration was inevitable. But in this second Croatia, the world of the Croatian entrepreneur, the situation is completely different, and the opportunity is there, even more so if we can unleash the Croatian entrepreneur to fulfil his or her true potential. 

And we have a very good precedent of how quickly and effectively change can be introduced. An open letter to the Prime Minister from a Dutchman on LinkedIn on July 11 asking for the introduction of a digital nomad visa started a process which resulted with the prime minister tweeting his plans to introduce the visa just 44 days later, with an amendment to the Foreigner's Act introduced to Parliament the following day. Things are moving smoothly behind the scenes, and my understanding is that this legislation should be in place by January 1. 

Croatia a bureaucratic country? It clearly doesn't have to be. 

Unleash the Croatian entrepreneur, and watch many more seeds like Rimac, Nanobit and Infobip start to bloom all over the country. 

Learn more about foreign entrepreneurs making a success of life in Croatia

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Car Magazine: Rimac Automobili to Takeover Bugatti

September 17, 2020 - Car Magazine dropped a bomb on Thursday - Mate Rimac and Rimac Automobili to takeover Bugatti from Volkswagen.

According to information obtained by Car Magazine, reports that the Volkswagen Group has decided to leave its brand of prestigious hypercars Bugatti to Rimac Automobili, which has long been world-famous for electric cars of exceptional performance, but also for the development of electric drive technology and components for large and well-known companies such as Aston Martin, Koenigsegg, Hyundai and the like.

Car Magazine states that Rimac would take over Bugatti in exchange for a larger stake in Volkswagen in Rimac Automobili. Under Volkswagen is also Porsche, which has already invested considerable money in Rimac Automobili. Namely, in 2018, Porsche bought a 10% stake in Rimac Automobili, and a year later, it bought another 5.5%. This put Porsche in good company, as Hyundai, Jaguar, Koenigsegg and Magna are among the investors in Rimac Automobili.

Car Magazine writes that such a transaction would never have been approved under the leadership of former Volkswagen leader Ferdinand Piech. They state that Bugatti was his "favorite toy" in the collection of companies to which Piech added well-known brands such as Bentley and Lamborghini. But Piech left Volkswagen in 2015 and died four years after that.

Unofficial sources cited by Car Magazine claim that Volkswagen's executives approved the transaction last week and that the final approval of the supervisory board is still pending.

Although not all the details are known, it seems that part of Bugatti will still remain under Volkswagen's control, especially since Porsche, as part of the Volkswagen Group, also has a 15.5 percent stake in Rimac Automobili. In addition, it is announced that Porsche should soon take a larger stake in Rimac Automobili.

Car Magazine states that the Volkswagen Group no longer wants to spend big money and workers on "hobby brands" taken over by the former head of the group. Instead, all resources must be directed to a major investment program that addresses the future of the automotive industry - electrification, digitization and autonomous driving.

But how can VW sever its ties with Bugatti without losing the support of other members of the Piech family, who control a 50 percent stake in the Volkswagen Group? The answer is simple, writes Car Magazine: By putting their favorite brand, Porsche, at the heart of this transaction, they would work for the mutual benefit of all parties involved.

Volkswagen has so far declined to comment on this information. Bugatti told the portal Carscoops that they have no comments on the story, either.

Rimac Automobili spokeswoman Marta Longin told Index only briefly: "We can't comment on speculation."

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Friday, 11 September 2020

Mate Rimac Discusses Croatian Economic Situation, Porsche, Infinum...

Croatia is attracting more foreign investments despite the economic woes caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which has taken the world by storm. Mate Rimac, Croatia's most beloved entrepreneur has discussed the Croatian economic situation, the Croatian company Infinum, Porsche's latest dip into the waters of business in Croatia and more.

As Novac/Bernard Ivezic writes on the 10th of September, 2020, the question is whether or not the Croatian economic situation, at least in regard to high-tech, is turning into the type that can be found in the famous Silicon Valley. if you were to ask Mate Rimac, the founder and director of Rimac Automobil, then this is exactly the case.

Mate Rimac told Jutarnji list that he is delighted that Infinum and Porsche have realised a joint venture in Croatia, their planned R&D centre for software development for the automotive industry, in which they will invest 10 million euros and employ 100 experts in three years.

"I often talk to the management of Porsche about how to increase their presence in Croatia. Infinum is an extremely high-quality company with a leadership that plays in the world's first league and I'm very glad that the initial idea of ​​connecting Infinum and Porsche bore fruit," said Rimac.

Tomislav Car, co-founder and director of Infinum, the largest Croatian manufacturer of mobile applications, praised Mate Rimac on Tuesday, because their investment was made because of him.

"Thanks to Mate Rimac's company, Porsche has recognised Croatia as a good opportunity to invest in high-tech R&D projects," Car emphasised.

Rimac emphasised that the Silicon Valley is such a good place for business precisely because people help each other out. He recalled the time when Porsche invested in a Croatian technology company a couple of years ago, it sounded unreal. Could the Croatian economic situation ever provide for such an atmosphere? One can hope.

"This is Porsche's second significant investment in Croatia, but it certainly isn't the last. I hope that together with other technology companies in Croatia we'll manage to create a strong ecosystem that will grow exponentially by supporting each other," concluded Mate Rimac.

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Thursday, 27 August 2020

Formula 1 Legend Nico Rosberg Buys Rimac C_2 Hypercar (VIDEO)

August 27, 2020 - Formula 1 champion Nico Rosberg has purchased the car to test his speed skills to the maximum - the Rimac C_2.

Croatia does not produce many cars, but the ones they do produce are pretty special, world-class even. Thanks to the pioneering efforts of Mate Rimac and the team from Rimac Automobili, whose company essentially is the Croatian car industry, Croatian automotive excellence in globally famous. 

The Rimac magic has attracted significant investment from major players in the automotive industry, including Porsche and Hyundai, and some of its buyers are no less high-profile. 

Another big PR win for the Sveta Nedelja company, as Formula 1 champion Nico Rosberg announced that he has become the latest member of the Rimac family, purchasing the company's prestigious C_2. 

As Rosberg explained in his YouTube video on the subject, the Croatian C_2 edged it over the Ferrari SF90 Stradale, Aston Martin Valhalla and Koenigsegg Regera:

Here's what you've been waiting for – it’s been such a difficult decision! What do you think of my would you have decided and why? Subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss the customisation:

Watch till the very end for an exclusive preview of what’s coming next….It’s been super tight between the Ferrari SF90 Stradale, Rimac Concept Two, Aston Martin Valhalla and Koenigsegg Regera! But in the end I’m super happy with my choice. You can be really looking forward to some Hypercar videos in the next few weeks. Of course, you’ll be part of the next steps: Customising my new hypercar and some driving action!

Mate Rimac was also clearly delighted with the deal, posting on social media:

The greatest feeling is to make products that make a difference and our customers happy. To have such an amazing guy as Nico Rosberg (Formula 1 World Champion) as a customer and future owner of a C_Two is just mind blowing. Nico has just visited us a couple of days ago to have a factory tour, configure his car and have a first proper test drive. Stay tuned for more really exciting stuff!

For the latest in the Rimac Automobili story, follow the dedicated TCN section

Friday, 24 July 2020

Former Tesla Engineering Vice President Joins Mate Rimac's Team

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 23rd of July, 2020, Rimac Automobili has appointed Chris Porritt, former chief engineer at Aston Martin, vice president of engineering at Tesla and head of Apple's special projects group, and chief technology officer (CTO). Chris will report directly to founder and CEO Mate Rimac, with a focus on future projects within the company.

Over a career spanning more than three decades, Chris has overseen the development of a range of sports and electric vehicles. During his sixteen years at Aston Martin, he was chief engineer for the limited production of the One-77 and V12 Vantage Zagato hypercars. In 2013, Porritt moved to California where he became vice president of engineering at Tesla, and then moved to Apple where he had a leading role in a group for special projects to develop new products. In addition to his professional career, Chris spends his weekends and free time constructing and racing his own vintage race cars. His experience in the development of luxury supercars at Aston Martin, and electric cars at Tesla that have reshaped the entire industry and enthusiasm for race cars make him the perfect addition to Mate Rimac's talented team.

Mate Rimac, founder and CEO of Rimac Automobile, stated: ''We've started a journey in a country that isn't known for car development. We learned a lot through trial and error as it was difficult to attract people from other countries, which made the whole process challenging but also exciting. I can’t imagine what our journey would be like and how far we'd have come by now if we had Chris from the very beginning. I was worried that people with a lot of experience in the industry wouldn't suit our culture and company spirit. However, as an absolute car lover, who likes to get involved in creating new projects, Chris fit in right from the start. We share the same way of thinking: we want to develop cars that raise the bar, and that are fun and high quality. I can't wait for the results we'll achieve together.''

Chris Porritt, Chief Technology Officer of Rimac Automobiles, stated: ''The opportunity to join Rimac Automobili is the dream of every engineer. Since almost every key component is constructed and designed at Rimac itself, we have real freedom to create something that is completely different from anything else previously developed in the world of super sports cars. Rimac is the perfect place to make good use of my combined experience gained in the development of supercars working for Aston Martin and with electric cars in California. What the team has achieved so far with the development of the C_Two car is phenomenal and I look forward to helping them develop future products that will push the boundaries.''

This year is a key period for the presentation of the latest all-electric Rimac car, codenamed C_Two, as prototypes are continuously constructed, used and tested for the purpose of global homologation. Starting in 2021, 150 examples of Mate Rimac's brand new car will be constructed manually on the new production line in Veliko Trgovišće. All of the major systems and components for the C_Two were developed and built within Rimac Automobili itself.

Mate Rimac's C_Two will reach a speed of 0-100 km/h in less than just two seconds and a top speed of 258 mp/h in its final production form. These values ​​were achieved by developing the original C_Two concept and then with later prototypes. In parallel with the development of the C_Two car, Rimac Automobili's business continued to grow, as evidenced by the increase in Porsche's ownership stake in the business to 15.5 percent, while the Hyundai Motor Group invested 80 million euros in the business. The latter announcements join a long list of Mate Rimac’s earlier partners, including Koenigsegg, Automobile Pininfarina and Aston Martin.

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Thursday, 2 July 2020

Mate Rimac Says Croatia Focuses Too Much on EU Money Bag

As Novac/Filip Pavic writes on the 30th of June, 2020, Mate Rimac, Croatian entrepreneur and the owner of the well known Rimac Automobili discussed investments and Croatia's apparent obsession with EU funds at a recent virtual forum.

''We’re all looking at this European bag of money and trying to grab a bit of it, and that’s a problem. I think we expect too much from EU funds and that we invest too much time and effort in withdrawing that money, instead of turning to building our own businesses and seeking private investment,'' said Mate Rimac at the first virtual "European Forum on artificial intelligence'' which was held on Tuesday.

The forum, organised by the Croatian Artificial Intelligence Association, Cro AI, on the last day of Croatia's EU presidency, in cooperation with partners KI Bundesverband from Germany and France HUB IA from France, addressed the recovery of the European economy with the use of innovative technologies, with a particular emphasis on artificial intelligence.

In addition to Mate Rimac, European technology company owners Cyril Kabbara, the co-founder of the French company Shark Robotics, Frenchman Benjamin Benharrosh, the co-founder of the Delair drone company from California and Anthony Whelan, the digital technology consultant of the European Commission, participated.

The introductory speeches, expressing full support for the initiative and the hope that the EU will become a leader in trends in artificial intelligence, were given by Croatian President Zoran Milanovic and Margrethe Vestager, Vice President of the European Commission.

In the discussion, which was mostly about European regulations in regard to new technologies and artificial intelligence, as well as the possibility of financing such businesses from EU funds, Anthony Whelan, one of the main advisers to the EC's president, Ursula von der Leyen, said that European innovators are available and have programs like Digital Europe that provided 2.3 billion euros for AI, and Horizon 2020 which provided 2.7 billion euros for new technologies. Now, there is a new Next Generation programme worth 750 billion euros, which aims to develop a green and digital economy.

Mate Rimac withdrew several million...

When asked how much he withdrew from such funds and programmes, Mate Rimac answered that in more than ten years of doing business, he received about 4.5 million euros, some were state incentives, some were European funds, but that this is nothing compared to 17 million euros in taxes he paid and the 100 million euros he invested in research and development. By the way, Mate Rimac has made 150 million euros in investments in his business in the last year from the car companies Porsche, Hyundai and Kia.

Benjamin Benharrosh, of Delair, a company that makes and develops drone management software, acknowledged that he hasn't received any funding from the funds so far, nor has Cyril Kabbara, whose robot company Shark Robotics became famous for last year's firefighting at the Notre Dame Cathedral.

As far as European artificial intelligence regulations are concerned, all of the panelists agreed that these regulations are too slow and don't follow the pace at which new technological trends are emerging. Whelan acknowledged the excessive bureaucracy, but stressed that the EU legal framework is stable and predictable.

Mate Rimac countered that China's regulation of artificial intelligence is much better than Europe's, and they're currently technology leaders. As for the potential of artificial intelligence in economic recovery, Rimac was clear - we need a regulatory framework for research and the testing of autonomous vehicles.

''For the last three years, Rimac Automobili has had an artificial intelligence department that primarily serves us to research autonomous driving. Clearly, once autonomous driving becomes the rule, and we’re close, cars won’t need a steering wheel, brakes, or exact window specifications. The situation today is such that, given that the regulations stipulate that the car must have all these components, we can't make or test an autonomous car that doesn't meet these conditions,'' explained Mate Rimac.

He reiterated the old proposal that a European country (perhaps Croatia) could create a national regulatory framework for research and the testing of autonomous vehicles. This, he says, would make it a global "playground" for such technology and as such attract companies and talent.

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Friday, 19 June 2020

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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Thursday, 18 June 2020

VIDEO: Mate Rimac Presents New Production Line for C_Two Prototype Production

As Novac writes on the 17th of June, 2020, Mate Rimac and his company Rimac Automobili have unveiled the next stage in the development of the amazing C_Two car - a brand new production line.

At the recently opened Rimac production plant in Veliko Trgovišće, the line will accelerate the production of C_Two prototypes required for final validation and the testing necessary for homologation worldwide. Assembling each C_Two car will take approximately five weeks, halving the production time when compared to the principle of static production, which is a method used by some other supersport car manufacturers.

When operating at full capacity, the new process will enable the construction of four final production vehicles per month. However, at Mate Rimac's company, the production process starts much earlier, before the assembly of finished components on the line. This is because a large number of components and systems are produced at the factory in Sveta Nedelja and in Veliko Trgovišće, after which it is delivered to the vehicle assembly line.

The new production line is divided into five main zones, and it begins with the attachment of all of the brackets and attachment points to the carbon construction of the vehicle. The two technicians at each subsequent station then proceed to assemble the car piece by piece. Subassemblies such as the dashboard, front radiator and other parts are manufactured and prepared off-line and are delivered completed and ready for installation on the vehicle assembly line.

So far, Mate Rimac and his company have produced four C_Two prototypes, and thirteen more are needed before the testing and homologation process is completed, followed by ten more pre-series cars, most of which will be produced this year. The complete homologation process (without any shortcuts) from the first concepts, through to complete prototypes to cars on the road is a three-year process. With the introduction of the new production line, Rimac Automobili will deliver the first cars to customers in 2021, unlike the original plan before the COVID-19 crisis which foresaw deliveries taking place this year. The final design and name of the car will be revealed this year.

"We've worked hard to bring the C_Two to the stage it's at now and we want to enable our customers around the world to experience the performance of a fully electric 1914 horsepower car as soon as possible. We have chosen the path of ''full global homologation'' without shortcuts, for which we have to perform a rigorous development and testing process, including many crash tests that require many different prototypes, each with its own purpose. While some of the cars will go straight from the production line to the crash testing plant, others will be used for different validation tests. Only a few prototypes, which aren't going to be used for crash testing, will survive the testing cycle. Given that we're now in the phase of raising the pace of production, this new line is absolutely necessary to speed up the process, which will allow us to start delivering the cars next year,'' said Mate Rimac, the founder and CEO of Rimac Automobili.

The Rimac C_Two promises a top speed of 412 km/h, an acceleration time of 0-62mph (100km/h) in 1.9 seconds and an acceleration time of 0 - 161 km/h (100 mph) of 4.3 seconds. These outstanding performances have been set as the ambitious goals of Mate Rimac and his dedicated team with the first announcement of the C_Two car back in 2018, and thanks to the extensive development and testing of the car, the engineers are confident that those challenging goals will be met.

In parallel with the development of C_Two, Rimac is continuing to grow as a company, and Porsche has as such increased its ownership stake in the company to 15.5 percent, while the Hyundai Motor Group invested EUR 80 million, joining such a long list of already established customers and partners of Rimac such as Koenigsegg and Aston Martin.

Watch the video below:

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Thursday, 16 April 2020

Rimac Automobili Launches the Rimac 2080 Design Challenge

April 16, 2020 - Those incredible Rimac Automobili electric supercars may be in the car park, but there is plenty happening intellectually at the innovate Croatian company HQ. Meet the Rimac 2080 Design Challenge.

One of the things I am finding fascinating in this insane corona era is how Croatia's top entrepreneurs are coping with the crisis, and what strategies they are employing to adjust to the new reality. 

There are fewer high profile companies than Rimac Automobili, of course, arguably Croatia's number one symbol of cutting edge technology on the global stage. 

Like many here in Croatia and around the world, we are cheering Mate and his band of innovative warriors on at every turn, as they conquer the automotive world, starting from a country which does not even have a car industry. 

One of the biggest high-profile events to be cancelled in Europe was the Geneva Auto Show at the end of February. So late was the decision that part of the Rimac team was already on the road to Switzerland for the event, and several hundred thousand euros of investment in stands, as well as months of planning, was lost. 

The next thing I noticed was a marathon trip around the Middle East came to a grinding halt as the world went into lockdown. And so it continued, as the Rimac team then started to work from home. Earlier this month, Rimac vowed not to lay off any staff during the crisis, as reported on TCN

One thing the coronavirus cannot stop is creative thinking, and with so many people having time at the moment, Rimac Automobili has today launched the Rimac 2080 Design Challenge, as explained on the company Facebook page:

After a positive response to our first #RimacDesignChallenge we have the next one ready for you! It's time to jump to the 80s, imagine a Rimac of the year 2080 and share it with the world. The best design wins a trip to Rimac and a hangout with our design team. Submit your creation on Instagram with @rimac_automobili and #RimacDesignChallenge before the 17th of May.

What a brilliant way to attract the brightest new talent. A progressive company leading the world in what it does, with an ethos of talent of creativity ahead of university diplomas. 

I am sure that there will be some rather interesting submissions, and some talented new hires at Rimac as a result. Impressive stuff.


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