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.

For more, follow our business page.

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.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

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:

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

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.


For the latest Rimac news. follow the dedicated TCN section

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Rimac Automobili Founder Mate Rimac Vows Not to Lay Staff Off

Mate Rimac is the protagonist of one of Croatia's most inspiring entrepreneurial stories. In a country where it seems that doing business and attracting investment is almost impossible due to draconian laws and ridiculous processes all wrapped up in a tangled mess of red tape, the Rimac Automobili owner has shown it is, still, more than possible to succeed.

Rimac Automobili is not only an example to other Croatian companies when it comes to how things should be done, but its management is a reflection of the views and opinions of its founder - Mate Rimac, born in Livno, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and certainly with no silver spoon in his mouth.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 30th of March, 2020, respected businessman Mate Rimac posted a video on his YouTube channel explaining how his company Rimac Automobili is coping with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, in which he stated that while the wellbeing and health of his employees is paramount, there won't be any layoffs for his staff to worry about.

“A lot of people (journalists, entrepreneurs…) have been asking me me how we're handling the crisis, they've been asking for interviews, etc. I decided in this way to share that information so that half of it doesn't end up getting lost along the way. I know a lot of things will be misunderstood even in this way, but it's still better to do it this way... I hope that it will be useful and that we can share more concrete and useful information in the coming weeks/months,'' the Rimac Automobili founder posted on his Facebook profile.

According to him, the health of his employees and their families comes before anything else, which is why everyone has been working from home since March the 16th, and everyone's salaries have been and are being paid properly and on time.

He says there are no cases of contagion among Rimac Automobili employees and that all jobs are being kept, that is, there will be no layoffs for his staff to be concerned with during this tumultuous economic period.

If you understand Croatian, watch the video below:

Make sure to follow our dedicated section for rolling information and updates in English on coronavirus in Croatia.


Sunday, 15 March 2020

Mate Rimac Closing Company on Monday, Employee Health Top Priority

The current coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic has well and truly dragged the world into a state of total disarray and with the health systems of many countries struggling, and the economy taking a proverbial nose dive, Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac has decided to close his company as of Monday.

As Novac writes on the 15th of March, 2020 apart from those who are able to do their jobs from the comfort and safety of their own homes, no Rimac Automobili employee will come to work.

Mate Rimac is one of Croatia's most incredible entrepreneurial stories and is an idol for many in a country which still doesn't take that kindly to startups, would-be entrepreneurs and investors, both foreign and domestic. This innovative entrepreneur from Livno, Bosnia and Herzegovina, is very well known for his humanitarian approach to very many things, and his latest Facebook status just goes to show that he is constantly thinking of others.

''Based on the available data, we believe that the most responsible decision for the health of our employees and their families was to close the company from Monday. Those that can work from home will do so but of course things will slow down. The health of our employees is the first priority. So all 700+ Greyp and Rimac employees in all our locations will not come to our facilities next week.

We are monitoring the situation closely and will make further decisions based on the situation next week.

Btw. We don’t have any case yet so this is a pure precaution.''

In response, commenters praised Rimac, stating that this was the ''only proper solution'' and that the beloved Rimac Automobili founder is ''always a step ahead''.

For more on the unfolding coronavirus situation in Croatia, make sure to follow our dedicated section for rolling information. For more on business, companies, entrepreneurs and products from Croatia, follow our business page.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

"F*ck This Hysteria!" Rimac Loses Money as Geneva Motor Show Cancelled

"F*ck this hysteria!" wrote a frustrated Mate Rimac after the news broke that the Geneva Motor Show has been cancelled three days before it was due to open owing to the increasing fear of the spread of the coronavirus, which has already seen other huge events cancelled.

As Novac/Filip Pavic writes on the 29th of February, 2020, Croatian entrepreneur Rimac was supposed to be one of 180 exhibitors at the Geneva Motor Show, otherwise one of the most important international motoring events, which was supposed to hold its 90th edition this year.

The autoshow was cancelled after the official confirmation of coronavirus now being in Switzerland came to light and the decision by the Swiss Government was to ban all gatherings of more than 1000 people. 

Mate Rimac said in a statement that the news had only reached them when they were halfway from Sveta Nedelja near Zagreb to Geneva, and that they had been driving three cars there, and that all the costs of the organisation of that would cost them several hundred thousand euros, which has now gone down the drain.

''The Geneva Motor Show is one of dozens of events on our 2020 calendar, but it's one of the largest. It requires a lot of production and a lot of things need to be put together for a successful event the size of the one in Geneva: A complete booth/stand, cars, logistics, communication, materials, our team. The organisation has been intensive for the last five months. We're disappointed with the cancellation because we've put a lot of effort, time and money into organising the fair where we needed to present the news and the name for the C_Two. However, in the last few days, everything has indicated that the show will be cancelled. A lot of our industry partners and associates are in the same situation,'' Marta Longin, head of public relations at Rimac Automobili, told Jutarnji list.

The Geneva Motor Show director, Oliver Rihs, added that exhibitors would not be able to get their money back. The Rimac Automobili team also travelled with employees of its sister company Greyp Bikes, who were also going there to display their innovative electric bicycles.

According to the fair's director, cancelling the Geneva Motor Show that draws more than half a million visitors each year will cost the Geneva economy at least 250 million euros.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for more. For rolling information on coronavirus in Croatia, make sure to follow this page.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

VIDEOS: Mondays with Mate - Rimac Talks Rimac C_Two Before Geneva

As Goran Jungvirth/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 25th of February, 2020, in the latest edition to ''Mondays with Mate'' on YouTube, Rimac Automobili's director has revealed the refinements on the ''Rimac C_Two'' electric hyper car which he will present at the upcoming international fair in Geneva.

''Next week, we'll present the final Rimac C_Two design at the Geneva International Motor Show. It isn't just a new shape, but a new name. In today's episode of Mondays with Mate, our founder and CEO Mate Rimac will give you an exclusive overview and explanation of the changes you can expect. The unveiling will take place on March the 3rd at 12:00 pm CET,'' the company said, announcing an exclusive look at their international attention-grabbing product.

''Today we will talk about what will change from this car to the one we will present in Geneva. It will be very different from the one you see here,'' Mate announced on Mondays with Mate, describing the changes to one of the newer models.

Symbols of Croatia have also been incorporated into the design. The new model will have different aerodynamics, Rimac stated while explaining the creation and design of new lights on the car, also mentioning a great deal of modifications to the interior of the car as well as the camera system and the security system.

Check out how he incorporated Croatian symbols into the car's design in a video that was viewed by 10,000 people from around the world in just 24 hours below:

A few days ago Rimac Automobili also released a short video on testing the Rimac C_Two, in which the test driver and engineer describe the ''benefits of an upgraded system'' and some of its main features.

Make sure to follow Made in Croatia for more information on Mondays with Mate, Rimac Automobili and on Croatian products and innovation.

Sunday, 9 February 2020

VIDEO: Fourth Episode of "Mondays with Mate" YouTube Show

The fourth episode of the already popular ''Mondays with Mate'' is now on YouTube.

Rimac Automobili, owned by beloved Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac from Livno, Bosnia and Herzegovina, is one of the country's most incredible business stories and Rimac himself has had to be the one to school the country's politicians on how to attact investment from the automotive industry.

He's no stranger to YouTube, and even recently hired popular Russian YouTuber and car enthusiast Misha Charoudin, who is sure to be providing the talented Mate with video techniques and ideas.

As Goran Jungvirth/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 9th of February, 2020, in the latest episode of ''Mondays with Mate'' YouTube show, Rimac Automobili's founder described the issues of making and operating batteries for the electric hyper cars his company produces.

''What makes Rimac's high-performance EV technology so unique that the other car manufacturers reach out to us for collaboration? In today's episode, Mate will elaborate on Rimac battery technology and answer your questions about future battery technologies,'' states the video's description.

"My parents told me that I was crazy about cars when I was a kid," he said of his obsession, which led him to the position of one of the most famous Croatian businessmen in the world, who managed to attract foreign investors to his company without any problems, with some massive names from the world of cars being linked closely with his company, Rimac Automobili.

In the video, he also explained why his company is just interesting to them, that is, their concept of development that is unique in approach.

Rimac also made his predictions about the development of batteries for electric vehicles in the future.

Watch Mondays with Mate below:

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia page for more information on Mate Rimac, Rimac Automobili and other Croatian companies and entrepreneurs.

Friday, 7 February 2020

The Rimac Automobili Effect: Porsche Discovers Zagreb

February 6, 2020 - The Croatian car industry may be minuscule, but it is top quality. Rimac Automobili investors Porsche discover the capital city of Zagreb. 

Can a few good men and women transform a country?

Possibly not, but imagine if each of Croatia's sectors had a Rimac equivalent. 

Croatia didn't have a car industry at all until a young Mate Rimac started playing around with a car in his garage. Ten years later, Rimac Automobili has been hailed as one of the most exciting companies in the global automotive industry, its electric hypercars the fastest in the world. 

A rapidly expanding company in an industry which simply did not exist now has 600 permanent employees at the last count, as well as an A-list of corporate investors. Among them, some of the biggest names in the industry, Porsche and Hyundai. 

And whatever Porsche is doing with Rimac in the labs and factories, there are plenty of other spin-offs for Croatia with the association of the Porsche brand. 

Such as gorgeous videos of Zagreb and Croatia, like this one which was posted on the official Porsche Facebook page yesterday and has already been viewed more than 50,000 times. 

The capital of Croatia, Zagreb, represents the ideal bridge between past and future, between tradition and innovation. The Porsche Travel Experience Croatia talked with Mate Rimac, founder of Rimac Automobil about the vibrating town. 

To follow the latest in the Rimac story, follow the dedicated TCN section

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