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Hyundai Motor Group bolsters partnership with Rimac on high-performance EVs and fuel cell prototypes across brands

Hyundai Group joined its partner Rimac Automobili in an event hosted by Rimac CEO Mate Rimac and attended by Croatian Prime Minister, ministers, and senior government officials to discuss the potential of the new auto industry in Croatia.

In May, the Hyundai Group announced an investment of €80 million in Rimac aimed to lead the high-performance electrified vehicle market. (Earlier post.) Since then, the companies have been working closely together to develop prototypes for an electric version of Hyundai’s N brand midship sports car and a high-performance FCEV with the intent to bring them to market at a later time.

Rimac Automobili findings based on an in-depth study of the future automotive industry development, current industry experience and network suggest that Croatia could enjoy great benefits, as have many Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries so far.

Global automotive producers have shifted production towards CEE countries from Western Europe. The automotive suppliers have followed, aggressively investing in CEE countries, opening production plants, innovation and R&D centers. This shift has happened in two major waves of investment, over the last 20 years.

We want Rimac to be a successful story, but moreover, we want to share our experience to help attract the auto industry to Croatia. Two waves of auto industry expansion in Central and Eastern Europe have proven to be extremely valuable for the economies of these countries. A new wave of investments is under way and due to new circumstances, Croatia has the opportunity to become the next destination of the new car industry.

Today, countries are competing in the open market, just as companies are. To be attractive to the manufacturers and suppliers, we need to develop comparative advantages over other countries. We want to contribute to attracting investors to Croatia, and our role is to point to the needs and expectations of the auto industry, while the Government’s role is to decide whether new auto industry is the right direction for Croatia’s strategic development and if so, form policies in the direction of attracting investment.

—Mate Rimac, Founder and CEO of Rimac Automobili

We are encouraged by the Croatian government’s support for our partnership with Rimac. We will further bolster our strategic partnership in developing high-performance electric vehicle and fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) prototypes across the Hyundai Motor Group brands.

—Hyundai Group Executive Vice President Thomas Schemera

Lutz Meschke, Deputy Chairman & Member of the Executive Board, Porsche AG, also joined the discussion.

The automotive industry needs to get the same attention as soccer in Croatia. It is a country full of potential. Its tourism is unique. There are very well educated young people. As part of its electrification efforts, Porsche has decided last year to partner with Rimac who has impressively demonstrated its credentials in the field of electromobility. As a shareholder, we from Porsche side want to fully support Rimac. Therefore, we just discussed the opportunities for Croatia as a country in the automotive sector with the government. Support by the government is essential for a successful development. The country now has the chance to be a relevant location for the automotive industry on an international level.

—Lutz Meschke


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