Sunday, 25 October 2020

Mate Rimac Video Promotes Working and Living in Croatia: Safety and Lifestyle

October 25, 2020 - Is it time to hire Croatia's electric car pioneer as a tourism consultant? Great Mate Rimac video promoting like and work in Croatia through the eyes of his employees from 35 countries. 

One of the great success stories in Croatia in these troubled economic times is undoubtedly the stunning rise of Mate Rimac and his Rimac Automobili company based in Sveta Nedelja, just outside Zagreb. A one-man company 12 years ago, today Rimac employs over 850 people from 35 countries, and his investors include some of the big names in the global car industry, such as Porsche and Hyundai. The location of his company, in Sveta Nedelja, just outside Zagreb, has possibly played a small role in the happy story - this week it was named as the best medium-sized town in Croatia for the third year in a row, as well as one of the top 5 towns in the country for quality of life

Working and living in Croatia. Rimac has been courted by numerous offers to move his operations to other countries, but he has always resisted. As he explains in the video, he really likes the Croatian lifestyle and living here, and he wanted to prove that one can succeed here in Croatia. 

And yesterday, his company's YouTube channel released a video featuring Rimac and many of the international staff that have moved to Croatia, which he introduced on his Facebook page as follows: 

"They said it can't be done in Croatia. Yet here we are. There are so many things I am proud of right in this video. Many of which very few people will notice. Stuff like this keeps me giving (more than) 100%."

The message of the video is excellent, at least in my opinion. Croatia, Your Safe, Authentic, Lifestyle destination is a slogan and direction we should be moving towards in our tourism thinking, and the way that so many people take for granted here what foreigners see as key selling points, are once again in evidence (this happens the world over, not just in Croatia, where a view from outside often offers a different perspective). The South African Rimac employee, for example, who was stunned to see two 16-year-old girls walking home alone at 2am in Zagreb. That simply would not happen back home. 

As one would expect with a Rimac product, it is beautifully produced, and it combines traditional tourism classic shots with a comprehensive overview of why Croatia is a great place to work and live through his eyes and a number of his international team. 

Great stuff, mose please...  

Croatia might not be the first place you would think of as home to a company designing, engineering, and manufacturing electric hypercars and high-performance EV technology. Nevertheless, we're proudly growing a real innovation and engineering hub in Sveta Nedelja, on the outskirts of Zagreb. Rimac family is 850-people strong and counting. Our employees come from more than 35 different countries! Knowing that moving out here is a bold decision, we've asked a few of them how they find life and work here. Here's hoping you fall in love with Croatia as much as we did, and join us here:

00:12 Why is Rimac based in Croatia

01:39 Overview and location

02:08 What Croatia offers

02:51 Language

03:31 Food culture

04:10 Prices and standard of living

04:40 Mindset

05:07 Getting here: documentation

05:40 Finding a job for your partner

05:46 Accommodation and commuting

06:47 Croatian culture

07:12 Croatian women

07:33 Safety

08:25 Christmas market in Zagreb

09:12 Traveling and activities in Croatia

10:18 Working in Rimac

12:36 Growing startup culture

For the latest news from Mate Rimac, follow the dedicated TCN section.  

Friday, 16 October 2020

Puma Football Boots Draw Inspiration from Croatian Rimac Automobili

October the 16th, 2020 - When it comes to successful Croatian companies, Rimac Automobili is undoubtedly the first one that comes to people's minds. It isn't only the likes of Porsche and others from the world of cars that Mate Rimac's company is impressing as the new Puma football boots draw their inspiration from this very company.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 15th of October, 2020, the French national team player Antoine Griezmann did his thing at Maksimir in Zagreb recently wearing the new Puma football boots, and the inspiration for the new boots was no less than the Croatian company Rimac Automobili, but it's important to point out that the Croatian company wasn't in any way actually involved in the designing of the new Pula football boots, it was merely the source of inspiration for them.

''Mate Rimac and Rimac Automobili didn't participate in the design and creation of the ''Ultra SL football boot'', which was worn for the first time on Wednesday at Maksimir Stadium by Antoine Griezmann,'' it is claimed and reported by the media.

Puma did the whole job itsself, they just found ''inspiration'' in this remarkable Croatian company, it’s otherwise entirely their design and their whole philosophy.

Puma made it clear once this story reached the attention of the Croatian media that the sports company didn't ‘borrow’ technology or anything else from Croatia or more specifically from Rimac Automobili.

''As far as our company is concerned, we don't want to make a fuss and inflate a big story,'' said Marta Longin, head of Marketing and Communications at Rimac Automobili.

Regardless, it is amazing to see that Rimac Automobili is succeeding in impressing companies from around the world who don't necessarily have anything to do with the automotive field.

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Wednesday, 14 October 2020

PM Plenković and Mate Rimac Discuss Electric Vehicles Industry in Croatia

October 14, 2020 – Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković met with Mate Rimac, founder and CEO of Rimac Automobili company. At the meeting, the potential of the electric vehicles industry in Croatia was discussed.

As stated in the announcement of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, the investments planned by Rimac Automobili have a broader context for the development of local and national transport, as well as educational and research and development infrastructure.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković expressed his support for the development initiatives and investments of the company Rimac Automobili and announced institutional support to all investors who develop and apply the latest technologies in Croatia.

They also discussed projects that could be included in the list of projects for funding from upcoming assistance programs, including the EU Recovery and Resilience Fund and the new EU Multiannual Financial Framework.

Mate Rimac also presented the planned construction of the Campus, which will include the company's headquarters, modern research and development facilities, a smart factory of high-tech components and electric cars, and additional accompanying facilities. The investment in the Campus project will enable the realization of an increasing number of projects that the company is engaged in, as well as the serial production, and it is planned to create a total of 2,300 workplaces for highly educated professionals.

Furthermore, the company plans to build a Center for Testing Technology and Components for Electric Vehicles, which is necessary to meet the growing demand for the company's services and expand services to test battery systems, propulsion systems, and environmental friendliness of such systems.

Along with Plenković and Rimac, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Tomislav Ćorić, Minister of Physical Planning, Construction and State Property Darko Horvat, and Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds Nataša Tramišak were also present at the meeting.


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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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