The Croatian electric car maker Rimac Automobili and its sister company Greyp Bikes have signed an agreement with the China-based Camel Group Ltd. on a EUR 30 million investment in those Croatian companies. The money from Camel Group, the biggest battery maker in Asia, will be used to expand both the electric car and electric bicycle companies, owner and CEO of both companies Mate Rimac said at the signing ceremony in Zagreb.
The investment is the largest foreign direct investment in a Croatian technology company to date. It is intended to fund the development of new products, expand production facilities and held both companies expand on the global market, a statement said adding that EUR 3 million of the total will go to Greyp Bikes.
Two key areas in which we want to expand are the building of a new, state-of-the-art production facility for our technology business and the launching of our next-generation electric super car which will be shown to the world next year, Mate Rimac said.
He said Rimac Automobili has established itself as a technology provider and enabler for many global automobile makers and has become the go-to address for electric power trains, batteries, innovative infotainment and telemetry systems and other core vehicle systems.
Camel Group CEO Liu Changlai said the investment was made because the company has a strategy of moving aggressively into the New Energy Vehicle Business and added that Rimac seemed to be the perfect match as a leader in electric vehicle technology development and manufacture.
The investment by Shanghai-based Camel Group also gives Rimac access to the Chinese market.
Plans for more investments
Croatian media reported that Rimac Automobili is planning to raise another EUR 20 million to develop a new model of electric sports car and move to a new location where it would raise the number of employees from the current 250 to almost double that number.
Mate Rimac said plans are underway to make eight models of the Concept One electric sports car which he said could reach speeds of up to 355 km/h. The new model will be presented at the Geneva Motor Show next year.
He told the Bloomberg news agency that his company knows exactly what it wants to achieve over the next three years under its own conditions. He said the company would not be sold under any circumstances.
Rimac Automobili supplies components and designs to a number of clients including Aston Martin Lagonda i Koenigsegg Automotive. The company was set up in a garage in 2009 and has managed to triple its value since 2014 to more than EUR 200 million. It has focused on the luxury car market and sells its Concept One models for an average EUR 1 million.
Rimac Automobili has its main plant in the town of Sveta Nedjelja which is also home base to Greyp Bikes.