Reports from several sources out of Europe point to a Bugatti sale to Croatian automaker Rimac in the near future. The details are yet to be confirmed by the relevant parties, but the rumors are compelling. And the big takeaway here is that the future seems to be electric.
Reuters is reporting the basics of the rumor in question: Rimac, the eponymous company from founder Mate Rimac, wants to acquire Bugatti from the Volkswagen Group. Over the years, Volkswagen has acquired many companies and folded each into the group umbrella—consider Lamborghini and Ducati, for example. Bugatti seems to be a crown jewel, but perhaps it’s not so core to the Group’s business than its superlative status would indicate.
Rimac, in case you’re not familiar, builds electric hypercars such as the Concept One. But an ever-increasing part of its business is providing EV expertise to other companies, such as Koenigsegg, Aston Martin, and Porsche, the latter of which is especially important to this story. Porsche is, of course, part of the Volkswagen Group, and the impressive Taycan electric sports car signals the company’s interest in EV performance. Porsche also holds a small but significant stake in Rimac.
Porsche and Rimac envision a development partnership, with Rimac taking more of a role as a supplier of components and expertise to the broader industry—and Porsche in particular.
In light of the existing relationship, the British publication CAR speculates that Bugatti will go to Rimac while Porsche will take a bigger stake in the Croatian company. This certainly seems like a plausible explanation as to how VW will elegantly dispose of the French hypercar brand while gaining something truly useful for its further growth in the EV segment.
We asked the relevant parties for comment and received a variety of “no comment” responses. However, a Bugatti spokesperson added the following: “In this very unusual year 2020 with all its challenges, we are absolutely focused on navigating Bugatti through the COVID-19 pandemic. After having posted positive results over the last two years, we are currently on track to even exceed last year’s record results.” If we hear anything further, we’ll let you know.