There might be a major shakeup at the Volkswagen Group as the automaker prepares for an era of electric mobility.
CAR reported Thursday that VW Group is poised to sell Bugatti to Rimac in exchange for an increased stake in the Croatian EV technology company. The deal has reportedly been approved, at least on the VW Group side, but not formally signed off.
Fellow VW Group brand Porsche already owns 15.5% of Rimac, which also lists as investors Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Koenigsegg, automotive supplier Magna, and Chinese battery supplier Camel Group.
Rimac founder Mate Rimac still owns 51% of the company he started in 2009, and according to CAR's report VW Group is looking to increase Porsche's stake to 49%. The move would give Porsche, and the rest of the VW Group, leading EV technology to rival Tesla. Rimac is also a leader at software development, including in the areas of connectivity, self-driving systems, and systems integration.
Rimac C_Two production line
In return, Rimac will have a prestigious brand to promote its cutting-edge, high-performance EV technology. It will also gain Bugatti's advanced production facility in Molsheim, France, which incidentally Mate Rimac visited in July.
CAR in its report noted that VW Group could offload more brands as it looks to reduce development costs and focus on its core, high-volume brands. That means the likes of Lamborghini, Bentley, Ducati and Italdesign might also be sold. It's not the first time that we've heard rumors that VW Group was looking to sell some of its niche brands.
CAR also reported that current Bugatti boss Stephan Winkelmann is expected to leave the company after its transfer to Rimac, and as a final undertaking Winkelmann will reportedly announce production plans for an electric track car inspired by the Bugatti Vision Le Mans concept envisaged by student designer Max Lask.
Bugatti Vision Le Mans concept by Max Lask