Porsche’s board of directors has decided to increase the company’s stake in the Croatian electric car manufacturer and supplier Rimac. With the investment, 24% of the 11-year-old automobile manufacturer will be placed under the Volkswagen umbrella.
Mate Rimac founded the company that bears his name in 2009 and has received high profile cash injections from big companies like Hyundai in recent years. Porsche began investing in Rimac in 2018 and increased its stake to 15.5% the following year. Increasing this number to 24% cost the German company 70 million euros, which at the current conversion rate corresponds to around 83.4 million US dollars. However, Porsche does not control Rimac.
Porsche celebrated the investment as a victory for both sides.
“Mate Rimac inspires us with his innovative ideas. He also benefits from our know-how in production and our methodological know-how in development,” explained Lutz Meschke, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Management of Porsche and member of the company’s Board of Management for Finance and ES.
Porsche added that it had already placed its first order for “highly innovative production components” from Rimac, but without revealing what it had bought or which cars it would drive. It has several to choose from: its electric car selection is currently limited to the Taycan and the recently launched Taycan Cross Turismo, but many others are on the way, including a battery-powered SUV that will replace the Macan in years to come.
It is unclear what (if anything) the investment means for Bugatti. Unaudited reports from 2020 said Volkswagen was ready to part with Bugatti in order to get a 49% stake in Rimac that it allegedly would have transferred directly to Porsche. Neither party commented on the rumors when they made headlines, and Bugatti has not yet been sold or traded, despite the French company’s fate being decided in the first half of 2021. Rimac insisted that the reports were false. It wants to remain independent so that no other brand can control it – not even in exchange for owning one of the most prestigious automotive companies in the world.
“Porsche’s stake will increase, but nowhere near 50%, and Rimac will remain independent with many industry customers who are not our shareholders or investors,” said the founder shortly before the publication of Porsche’s investment. In addition to developing its second model, called the C_Two, the company is working with Hyundai on high-performance cars with electric and hydrogen drives and with Kia on a mysterious project.