Rimac, a Croatian electric supercar startup, announced the acquisition of Bugatti from Volkswagen to form a new company called Bugatti Rimac. The Financial Times broke the storey first.
Bugatti Rimac will be led by Mate Rimac, who founded the company as a one-man operation in a garage in 2009. During that time, Rimac has become a highly desirable brand, with many legacy automakers contacting the startup to assist in the development of their own electric supercars.
It’s not difficult to figure out why. Rimac released the Nevera earlier this year, a quad-motor, 1,914 horsepower electric absurdity with a top speed of 258mph and the ability to accelerate from zero to 60mph in less than 2 seconds. The Bugatti Chiron previously held the title of fastest sports car ever made, which the Nevera is expected to surpass.
Rimac will own a controlling 55 percent stake in Bugatti under the terms of the agreement.
Rimac will own a controlling 55 percent stake in Bugatti, the 112-year-old French company known for its aggressively priced supercars such as the Chiron and Veyron. VW’s Porsche brand will own the remaining Bugatti shares. (Although Porsche owns some Rimac stock, its total ownership will not give it a controlling interest in Bugatti, according to the companies.)
Volkswagen has owned Bugatti since 1998, when it paid $50 million for the sports car brand after acquiring Rolls-Royce and Lamborghini. According to Porsche CEO Oliver Blume, this was an all-stock transaction in which no money changed hands.
Rimac Group will own Bugatti Rimac as well as Rimac Technologies, a subsidiary focused on the development, production, and supply of battery systems, drivetrains, and other EV components. Rimac has supplied automotive components to Porsche, Hyundai, and, yes, Bugatti over the years.
“Both Bugatti and Rimac will continue to operate as separate brands, with existing production facilities and distribution channels,” Rimac says. “Bugatti Rimac represents the company that will develop the future of both Bugatti and Rimac vehicles by combining resources and expertise in R&D, manufacturing, and other areas.”
Both companies will keep their respective headquarters, but Rimac intends to merge its workforce at the planned $200 million campus in Croatia, which is set to open in 2023.
“This is a truly exciting moment in Rimac Automobili’s brief but rapidly expanding history,” Mate Rimac said in a statement. “We’ve been through a lot in a short period of time, but this new venture takes things to a whole new level. In terms of what we each bring to the table, Rimac and Bugatti are a perfect match. We have established ourselves as an industry pioneer in electric technologies as a young, agile, and fast-paced automotive and technology company.”
Bugatti, according to Rimac, will have an electric model this decade but will still produce hybrid models by the end of that decade.