Bugatti’s full potential was never going to be reached under Volkswagen ownership, but Rimac has big plans for the hypercar companyby Dim Angelov, on LISTEN 03:07
When it comes to the automotive industry, Rimac’s acquisition of Bugatti is one of the most epic automotive marriages in recent history. Volkswagen owned the French hypercar manufacturer since 1998, but on November 2nd, 2021, the Croatian EV manufacturer, Rimac, officially took custodianship of Bugatti. While this is a great way for both car companies to move forward, Mate Rimac’s other goal for Bugatti is to assume much better control over the development costs, which is something Volkswagen did not manage very well at all.
Like other carmakers, Bugatti’s transition to electricity is imperative in order for it to be relevant in an all-electric future. While said future is still hypothetical more than anything else, it was clear that Volkswagen was not sure how to go about managing the French car company. The German company’s approach to outsourcing a lot of work helped them avoid investing billions into Bugatti’s transformation into an EV carmaker.
Former Volkswagen CEO, Ferdinand Piech, brought the Bugatti brand into the VAG family. With him no longer with us, Volkswagen faced the choice of either killing off the Bugatti name or selling it in order to avoid the logistical challenges involving the company’s restructuring.
Bugatti, as a company, has had some epic partnerships and we don’t need to mention the fact that some of the fastest cars in the world wear the Bugatti badge, including the Bugatti EB110, which was, sadly, overshadowed by the McLaren F1, in the 1990s. When asked about the hypercar company, Mate Rimac said "On a car-by-car basis, Bugatti is very successful.”, but he has also explained the inefficient approach of Bugatti’s former owner, Volkswagen, towards the hypercar manufacturer.
“People would be surprised how profitable each one is; I certainly was. But it has been less successful in developing cars. It cost them more to create the Bugatti Chiron from the Bugatti Veyron, which has the same W-16 engine and eight-speed gearbox than we spent developing our Rimac Nevera from scratch.”
Rimac’s acquisition of Bugatti is described as a "win-win-win-win" by Rimac Automobili founder, Mate Rimac. The EV start-up manufacturer acquired a company with a 113-year heritage while Porsche, as a member of VAG, owns 45 percent of the Bugatti brand. There were talks about a partnership between Porsche and Rimac for a while and we now know how things are going to work for both companies.
Another "win-win" according to Mate Rimac is that "It’s a win for the employees, because we will expand. And it’s a win for customers because we have exciting new products coming. We won’t just hump along; we will flourish.” The Croatian EV manufacturer has ambitious plans for Bugatti and, more importantly, the resources to "re-arm" Bugatti for the future. Under Rimac’s custodianship, Bugatti will expand and reach new heights compared to Volkswagen’s ownership, where it was more of an unloved child.