Wednesday, 31 March 2021

New Zagreb Rimac Automobili Office Now Up and Running

March the 31st, 2021 - The new Zagreb Rimac Automobili office is now up and running, with yet more enormous plans lying ahead of Livno-born businessman Mate Rimac.

Mate Rimac is the protagonist of far one of the country's most fascinating and indeed inspiring entrepreneurial stories. In a country where ''you can't do that'' continues to reign strong when it comes to business, investments and actually getting ideas off the ground, Rimac's dogged determination and drive is something to be greatly admired.

The self-proclaimed lover of tech who has rather miraculously managed to make something work in Croatia which would have been deemed impossible before, has attracted the likes of German automotive giant Porsche to Croatia, having them invest eye-watering amounts of money into his company and even giving the Croatian Government a lesson on how to attract the car industry and as such foreign investment.

There seems to be little Mate Rimac can't turn his hand to and succeed in, and as the brand new Rimac campus and the move to a new space in Jankomir dominates his company's ''life'' at the moment, the new Zagreb Rimac Automobili office opening is yet another item ticked off his long list.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Rimac Automobili has opened a new development office in Zagreb, which already has about 400 employees working there.

The new 4,400-square-metre Zagreb Rimac Automobili office covers two floors and ''houses'' experts from a number of different departments working on the development of battery systems, electric drive components, software solutions and autonomous driving systems. The new location on the ground floor is also home to three innovative R&D laboratories.

"This new Zagreb Rimac Automobili office has made it possible to group teams based on the projects they're currently working on - whether it's internal Rimac projects or technology we're developing for other carmakers," the company's official Facebook page stated.

For more on Mate Rimac and other Croatian entrepreneurs and companies, follow Made in Croatia and our business section. For all current coronavirus information specific to Croatia, including travel and border rules, as well as testing centres up and down the country, make sure to bookmark this page.

Friday, 26 March 2021

Sveta Nedelja Mayor Dario Zurovec Reveals Details of Rimac Investment

March the 26th, 2021 - Sveta Nedelja Mayor Dario Zurovec has spoken out in more detail about the enormous investment tied to Mate Rimac's name.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, Mate Rimac, as expected, was the only one to submit a binding offer to Sveta Nedelja for the establishment of building rights in a field in Kerestinec, in the area near the old Erdödy Castle, which proved to be an ideal location for his upcoming Rimac campus construction project.

The tender, which closed very recently, envisions the conclusion of a 69-year-long contract, with an annual rent of 199,000 square metres at a price of 0.10 kuna per square meter, and sets out, among other things, a three-year deadline to complete the investment and the beginning of the works beginning within the first 12 months.

Judging by Mate Rimac, who has been looking for such a location for a long time, none of this will be a problem, because the lack of space has been a problem for him for a long time, and he has just announced that he has found a temporary solution to accommodate his current 400 to 500 employees in the former Pevec building located in Jankomir.

Sveta Nedelja Mayor Dario Zurovec revealed that the total investment of Rimac Automobili in the future Rimac campus oriented to new technologies and the automotive industry will amount to more than one billion kuna in total, which is significantly more than what was set out as the minimum amount in the tender (one hundred million kuna) and is being seen as one of the largest investments to have ever taken place in Croatia.

According to data from Rimac's offer, Sveta Nedelja Mayor Dario Zurovec says that the creation of around 700 new jobs is planned, mostly of highly educated members of staff. The location in Kerestinec has already been spatially adjusted to the needs of the Rimac campus project, which, in addition to the production plant and research and development centre, also envisages the construction of a testing laboratory, an information and educational complex, a restaurant and a space for short stays, as well as various facilities for employees such as a gym, sport and recreation areas.

Zurovec has made no effort to hide his sense of pride and satisfaction in the fact that everything is now ready for this huge investment venture, which will result in an even better position of Sveta Nedelja on the Croatian and even on the European investment map.

"This is by far the largest investment in the history of Sveta Nedelja", said Mayor Zurovec proudly, who expects to sign a contract with Rimac Automobili, in accordance with all relevant decisions, in just a week or two.

For more, follow our business section. For up to date coronavirus information specific to Croatia, including travel and border rules, as well as testing centres across the country, bookmark this page.

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Rimac Automobili UK Office Opens for Research and Development

March 24, 2021 - The Rimac Automobili UK office for research and development has opened its doors, Mate Rimac announced on Tuesday when British Minister of State for Tade Policy Greg Hands visited Sveta Nedelja. 

T.portal reports that Rimac's R&D office has thus opened in the Warwick Enterprise Park and has plans to employ 30 people by the end of this year.

There, the British automotive industry will cooperate with the company's headquarters in Croatia.

Mate Rimac announced the news when Greg Hands visited the company's headquarters in Sveta Nedelja.

Hands, who watched Rimc's cars at Top Gear, said that the Croatian car company was "inspiring."

"He left probably the most famous television car figure in the world, Jeremy Clarkson, without words," Hands said of Rimac's cars.

A new office has opened near the University of Warwick near the city of Coventry.

"It's a great university of engineering," Hands said.

"And rights," added the British ambassador to Croatia, Andrew Dalgleish, who studied law there.

Rimac said that British engineers were "first-class in new technologies for vehicle electrification and future mobility" and added that "although they are starting with a small office, they could significantly expand in the years to come."

"Although Croatia will always be our home, we decided to take the opportunity and gather a small team in the UK, where the automotive industry has a long history and a high level of expertise," said Rimac.

Rimac Automobili currently employs nearly a thousand people and continues to expand rapidly.

The company has already worked closely with British companies to supply technology for automotive brands such as Aston Martin and Jaguar.

Rimac Automobili is also a supplier to many of the world's largest car manufacturers such as Hyundai, Porsche, Pininfarina, Koenigsegg, and others.

Sveta Nedelja announces that the company will soon present the super sports electric car C_Two in its final form. The car will soon enter series production, limited to 150 units.

The C_Two will reach a top speed of 412 km / h and accelerate to 100 km / h in less than two seconds.

Hands told Hina that he arrived in Croatia to maintain good trade relations with EU member states now that the UK has left. He was opposed to that decision.

"Croatia is a like-minded country when it comes to the free market and is a good friend of ours," the British minister said, revealing earlier on his Twitter profile that he had spent his honeymoon in Croatia in 2005.

Hands, a conservative MP for London's Chelsea and Fulham districts, met with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković's adviser Vladimir Drobnjak earlier on Tuesday, and in the coming days, will meet with several Croatian ministers, including the economy minister.

Ahead of Hands' visit, the British embassy in Croatia said the UK was "sending a clear message that it wants a strong partnership with Croatia and great local companies, with a special focus on green technologies."

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

Friday, 19 March 2021

VW Boss Clarifies Info Surrounding Alleged Rimac Bugatti Purchase

March the 19th, 2021 - Volkswagen's boss has spoken out about the information which has been circulating for months now about the alleged Rimac Bugatti purchase. Rumors have been doing the rounds for some considerable time, and speculation has been rife.

As Novac writes, rumours about an alleged Rimac Bugatti purchase, more specifically that Rimac Automobili would take over Buggati, have been flying around for a while now. The main body of these rumours was how Volkswagen could restructure the business of its entire concern by merging Rimac, Porsche and Bugatti into one unit which would work together to produce supercars. Now, for the first time since the proverbial rumour mill began operating, Volkswagen's Herbert Diess has spoken out, writes Seebiz.

He explained the fate of this reorganisation in a conversation during the annual VW press conference. Currently, Bugatti is in the phase of moving under the cap of Porsche, which will become its umbrella company. At the same time, Porsche increased its stake in Rimac Automobili from 15.5% to 24%. Both moves go in the same direction, and that is the creation of a separate unit specialising in advanced technologies and supercars that would take advantage of the synergistic effect of all those involved.

After the merger of Bugatti with Porsche, in the form of a partnership, talks will begin with Rimac, which will also be taken care of by Porsche, explained Diess, confirming that the VW group had absolutely no plans to "sell Bugatti to Rimac".

Instead, the responsibility for Bugatti will be shifted to Porsche, which could then form a joint venture with Rimac, in which Porsche will hold a minority stake. That joint venture could include Bugatti, so Rimac Automobili and Bugatti could indeed be merged.

These were roughly the expectations when the information about the merger of Bugatti Rimac with Automobili first appeared in Croatia, and now it has been officially confirmed for the first time.

The exchange of ownership shares, the transfer of control to Porsche and then the creation of a new joint venture - this is what is set to follow if Diess' plan ends up being realised. Nothing has been confirmed or agreed on yet, but now at least the direction in which Volkswagen's department for supercars and modern sports electric vehicles will develop is known.

For more, follow our business section.

Thursday, 18 March 2021

YouTuber Marques Brownlee Drives Incredible Rimac Concept_One

March the 18th, 2021 - The stunning Rimac Concept_One is a supercar which put Croatia on the automotive map, leading to a snowball effect and even the German car giant Porsche investing huge amounts in Rimac Automobili, the product of a Livno-born entrepreneur with a dream and a lot of drive.

YouTubers have gone from relative obscurity to having very much overtaken celebrities as we've come to know them via mainstream media. There are some enormous names and even more enormous amounts of exposure (and indeed money) attached the to the names of certain, primarily American YouTubers who have raked in millions of subscribers with their content over the years. When it comes to tech, there are few better positioned or better known than Marques Brownlee.

Brownlee is an American YouTuber (and a professional frisbee player) with a subscriber count to die for. His videos bring in literally millions of tech lovers from across the globe and his Waveform podcast succeeds in doing the same. It was only a matter of time before Brownlee turned his keen eye to the likes of Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac and his state-of-the-art supercars, more specifically the Rimac Concept_One.

While Mate Rimac needs very little in the way of publicity, rising to the spotlight repeatedly and entirely on his own merit and dogged determination, the 27-year-old American tech YouTuber's attention on the Rimac Concept_One is absolutely worth a mention, as is the attention of his 13+ million channel subscribers.

The video, which at the time of writing was at 27 on trending, is called Dope Tech: The Fastest Car AND Drone Yet! and Brownlee indulges his tech passion by looking into a drone which can travel at an incredible speed of 87mph and of course, the jawdropping Rimac Concept_One supercar which can reach 211 mph.

At the beginning of the video, Brownlee describes Rimac's supercar as the "fastest car he'll have ever driven", before adding how the vehicle is "on another level" and that it isn't something one would see in the street - for good reason. The stylish blue Concept_One is then driven by a visibly impressed Brownlee, who is full of compliments for the Croatian entrepreneur's fascinating vehicle.

Watch the whole video here:

 

 

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Monday, 15 March 2021

Businessman Mate Rimac Moving Company to New Space - Jankomir

March the 15th, 2021 - Croatian businessman Mate Rimac, the owners of the Sveta Nedelja-based company Rimac Automobili, has announced that due to a need for more space, the company will be moving to Jankomir.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Livno-born businessman Mate Rimac is moving his company to a new space due to the excellent levels of growth he has been experiencing with more and more employees, he announced on his Facebook profile.

Earlier on this month, it was announced that Porsche had further increased its investment in Rimac Automobili, increasing its stake in the company to 24 percent. The latest investment strengthens Rimac Automobili´s position as a company specialising in technology development and the production of key systems for the high-performance electric vehicle market.

Since Porsche’s first investment in businessman Mate Rimac´s company back in 2018, the Rimac Automobili team has doubled to nearly 1,000 employees.

Rimac wrote a Facebook status which said that his company has been struggling with space for years and they are currently scattered across ten locations. The long-term solution to this problem is the construction of the Rimac campus, but until it is completed, the company will work from the new space, which is the former Pevec in Jankomir. It is a space which covers 25,000 square metres in total.

¨Given that we´re growing very quickly (both in terms of the number of people and the number of projects and production lines we have), we´ve been struggling with space for years, and as such we´re scattered in 10 locations (14 facilities in 9 cities and 3 countries), which makes things for our business very difficult. I think it is well known that we have been planning to build a campus for a long time now - our long-term solution to the location problem. Unfortunately, some things are going quite slowly, so we still have to "patch" up some things and find some semi-solutions. We recently opened an R&D office for 400+ people in Zagreb. We haven´t yet published any pictures or details about that location - we will soon,¨ businessman Mate Rimac wrote on Facebook.

“As the realisation of the Rimac campus will take some time, we´ve been intensively looking for a space that will enable us to survive until the campus becomes a reality. We were looking for a space of at least 15,000 m2 in Zagreb and its surroundings. I believe that there´s no space that we didn´t visit - we even went so far as to see crazy combinations such as the old passenger terminal of the Airport (Pleso), various shopping centres (Mandi, West Gate, Tekstil Promet…), old industrial buildings (Gredelj, Viadukt, a bunch of neglected old factories) etc. I think we´ve literally looked at everything that can more or less meet the conditions (even areas quite far from Zagreb) and the conclusion is - Croatia really does not have suitable (and available) space for any more such serious production. Some locations may be used but are not suitable for the area in which they´re located or their ownership/property status issues (eg Gredelj) or have already agreed a long-term lease, so it´s impossible to start using a building within a reasonable time (such as the former Magma in Jaska, which would be our best solution).

At least now we know that we have gone through everything we can and made the best decision based on all of the available data. Or in fact - the least bad. "Bad" because we have to invest a lot of money in a space that we will only use for a few years until we move to the campus. But I guess that’s the price of growth (and locations where there are no industrial plants available).

We decided on the former Pevec in Jankomir - an area of ​​some 25,000 square metres. I know, it´s far from perfect, but considering everything, this was really the only possible option.

The works are in full swing and in 4-5 months we should have 400-500 employees on site. Part of the production will be located there, industrialisation, part of the development and other parts of our business. As with all of our locations - despite the short time of use, we will do our best to arrange the location to be representative and comfortable to stay in and work in. I hope tours will be possible by the end of the year.

P.S. We´ll publish the Rimac campus project with all the details in the next few weeks,¨ businessman Mate Rimac wrote on his Facebook page.

For more on Croatian entrepreneurs, follow Made in Croatia.

Friday, 12 March 2021

Rimac Campus Location Revealed, Huge Investment Remains Condition

March the 12th, 2021 - The location of the brand new Rimac campus has been revealed, and the condition of everything coming to fruition lies on one massive investment and a praiseworthy job creating promise.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, the door to the realisation of the new Mate Rimac campus investment project is finally opening up. Sveta Nedjelja, in which Rimac Automobili is situated, has announced a public tender for the establishment of construction rights on an area covering a total of 199 thousand square metres, for which the construction of a production and research and development campus is planned, and for which the annual fee would be at least 0.10 kuna per square metre.

The right to construct on that piece of land would be contracted for 69 years, which means that the investor would pay Sveta Nedelja almost 20 thousand kuna a year. These are assets that were transferred to the ownership of Sveta Nedelja, whose spatial plan envisages the construction of such a campus in the area of ​​the old Erdödy castle in Kerestinec.

The tender envisages, among other things within the realm of the Rimac campus, the construction of a production plant, a testing laboratory, a research and development centre, an information and educational complex with complementary facilities for both regular users and visitors, from restaurants, dormitories for short stays to offices, exhibition and sales premises, and even the the construction of a smaller hotel boasting up to 100 beds. It will also be possible to build sport/fitness and recreational facilities for Rimac campus employees.

A few years ago when he initially announced his intention to build a campus, entrepreneur Mate Rimac explained that it would be a win-win situation for everyone. "The castle would be renovated, and the company that is the flagship of Croatian industry would be even more representative," said Rimac at the time, whose facilities were already being regularly visited by interested people from all over the world.

The criteria for scoring bids show that a minimum investment of 100 million kuna needs to follow, which will create at least 200 new jobs and employ 50 new highly educated members of staff, and the tender conditions show that the further investment process will proceed quickly, because the plan is to conclude a contract within 30 days from the selection of the best offer, and in the following eight days, the investor will be introduced to property, and they then have exactly three years left to realise the investment in the Rimac campus. The start of the investment must begin within twelve months, otherwise Sveta Nedelja may unilaterally terminate the contract should it so wish.

The tender will remain open until March the 23rd, 2021, and the selection of the offer will be announced in the next thirty days, which means that the investor would have all the predispositions to start investing in the brand new Rimac campus by the beginning of June.

It is unlikely that Mate Rimac will have a competitor in this process, because he drafted the entire project a long time ago himself and announced that he was looking for a unique location like this one for his campus in the vicinity of Zagreb and Sveta Nedelja.

For more on Rimac and other Croatian entrepreneurs, follow Made in Croatia.

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Innovator Mate Rimac Shows Off One of Interesting First Projects

March the 10th, 2021 - Croatian innovator Mate Rimac has showcased one of his first interesting projects, looking back at his humble yet always impressive beginnings as Porsche invests another huge amount of money into the Sveta Nedelja-based company.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, after news broke recently that the German car giant Porsche had increased its already substantial investment in Rimac Automobili, increasing its stake in the company to 24 percent, innovator Mate Rimac took to Facebook to look back at one of his much earlier projects.

¨Once upon a time, during an interview, they asked me if we were working on autonomous driving. Back then I said that we had already made one self-driving car. At the beginning of the company´s creation, we came up with various prototypes for other companies and in that way we survived. We undertook some crazy projects that others couldn’t or didn’t want to do. We were mostly bound by confidentiality agreements, but in this case the contracts have since expired and the project has long been irrelevant so I decided to share the story of that famous self-driving car here.

Back in 2013, when there were about 10 of us working at the company, and we started working for a large German company. They told us their vision of the future - orally, without any specifications. I have to admit that before that project I thought autonomous driving was uninteresting and I didn’t think about the concept of mobility as a service. The customer wanted us to develop and build a prototype based on their idea. The catch was that we have to do all this within 90 days because otherwise their budget reservation for the project would fail and go to the "second box office" (which is big corporate language for "we will not pay you if you do not do something that is almost impossible").

90 days of work day and night on a completely new vehicle concept with a completely different principle of steering and drive (eg 3 in-wheel engines that were also used to "straighten" up the vehicle). Yes, it is a real vehicle and I drove to Samobor once in it.

The aim was to show what the future of mobility might look like. The car of course did not drive autonomously but had a joystick to control it between the seats (drive / steer / brake by wire) and remotely for the purposes of a demonstration video. Given the budget, time, knowledge and size of the team we had at our disposal, this is something I´m still proud of to this day and it opened my eyes in terms of which direction the future of individual mobility should or could go.

We also had the concept of "nice" performance (with a "real" exterior design - not a "pipe" with pipes, but there was no time or money for that). We survived doing such things back at the beginning. We went down to the wire and were often late with our commitments, but we managed to survive. Today, companies with less than this prototype raise hundreds of millions of euros in funding, but it was a different time back then. As little as 8 years may seem, in fact, at least in our industry, everything has completely changed.

By the way, there have been a bunch of other similar projects and I might show you some of them - of course the ones I can show today without making our customers then or now angry. Thanks to everyone who participated in creating this insane device.¨

For more on innovator Mate Rimac and other Croatian entrepreneurs, follow Made in Croatia.

Monday, 8 March 2021

Porsche Invests Further 70 Million Euros in Croatian Rimac Automobili

March the 8th, 2021 - Porsche has decided to invest a further 70 million euros into the Croatian Rimac Automobili company, owned by Livno-born entrepreneur Mate Rimac.

As Ivan Luzar/Telegram writes, Porsche has invested an additional 70 million euros in Croatian Rimac Automobili, taking Porsche's stake in the company up to 24 percent. The news of this additional investment was somewhat expected, as last week we wrote about a potential 130 to 150 million euro investment from the giant company. The same was said by the founder of Rimac Automobili, Mate Rimac to the German automotive magazine Automobilwoche.

Rimac Automobili has as such reached a value of 795 million euros, or 947 million US dollars, writes Reuters. Last week, the Croatian Rimac Automobili commented on the news of the increase in Porsche's share in the company headquartered in Sveta Nedelja near Zagreb, thus confirming that the German company was set to increase its share, but that Rimac Automobili will still remain independent. Then, as now, they still have not commented on the news of the possible takeover of Bugatti, which has been talked about for months.

Porsche invested for the first time back in 2018

Porsche invested in Rimac Automobili back in 2018, when they took over a 10 percent stake in the company, and just a year later, they increased that stake to 15 percent. Now, two years later, Porsche has bought an additional 8.8 percent for the aforementioned 70 million euros.

"Rimac is well positioned for the production of prototypes and cars in small series. Rimac Automobili is on its way to becoming one of the main suppliers for Porsche, but also other manufacturers in the high-tech segment of the automotive industry,” said Porsche CFO Lutz Meschke.

Since back in 2018, when Porsche first invested, Rimac has almost doubled its number of employees to a thousand. They have also undertaken various collaborations in the automotive industry, such as the one(s) with Hyundai, Kia and Aston Martin.

Rimac: "The amount of the investment is not a priority"

Mate Rimac commented on Porsche's new investment on his Facebook profile: 

Can there be a better confirmation of a successful partnership than 3 separate investments within 4 years?

Getting Porsche initially on-board was extremely important for us. Having confirmed that they did the right thing and that we have earned Porsche’s trust, makes us very proud.

This 70M Euro investment is part of our long-term strategic collaboration, where different aspects of strategic collaboration can be expected in the future. The valuation and amount raised are not the priority in this deal. We are working on some other transactions that will reflect the market value of Rimac as a company.

We are all excited to see the fruits of this ever-deeper cooperation.

For more on Rimac and Croatian entrepreneurship and companies, follow Made in Croatia.

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Entrepreneur Mate Rimac Collects 130-150 Million Euros in New Investments

March the 2nd, 2021 - Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac keeps going from strength to strength when it comes to doing business responsibly and succeeding on the tricky investment front, going as far as to attract automotive giants like Porsche once again.

Rimac Automobili is a company that has done much more than just put Croatia on the automotive map, which is no small feat at all, but Livno-born Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac has shown that it is very possible to succeed and do well in Croatia if enough effort and know-how are employed.

Attracting investments left, right and centre, the always smiling protagonist of this shining Croatian business story even taught the Croatian Government a thing or two about how to attract massive investments from huge companies and as such bring the automotive industry within Croatia's borders.

As Novac writes, no less than Porsche should participate in a new round of financing for entrepreneur Mate Rimac's impressive company Rimac Automobili, in which the company should raise an additional 130 to 150 million euros, the company's founder Mate Rimac told the German publication Automobilwoche.

The funding should be completed in two to three months, and another round of funding is planned by the end of the year, entrepreneur Mate Rimac explained.

Porsche currently holds a 15.5 percent stake in Rimac Automobili, and that Porsche owned stake could increase to just under 50 percent in an agreement under which Rimac would take over Volkswagen's luxury brand Bugatti, about which we recently wrote.

Rimac Automobili, as well as Volkswagen, have not yet commented on this matter and this article will be updated as comments come out.

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