According to Bugatti Rimac’s CEO, ultra-wealthy supercar buyers show no signs of slowing down despite fears of a recession.
Met Rimac said demand for the company’s all-electric Rimac supercars and its combustion-engine Bugattis remains strong and may even accelerate.
“We don’t see any slowdown at the moment, quite the opposite,” he said. “With Bugatti, we are well sold in 2025. So even if (the recession) is a few years, we will come out of it stronger.”
Bugatti’s new $5 million Mistral roadster — with a 1,577-horsepower, quad-turbo W16 engine — has sold out of all 99 models produced since it was unveiled to the public Friday during Monterey Car Week in California. Named after a cold, northwesterly wind that blows through southern France, the car is being billed as the last of the non-electric Bugattis as the company begins its transition to hybrid and electric vehicles.
The Bugatti W16 Mistral Roadster is on display at the 2022 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Saturday, August 20, 2022 in Pebble Beach, California, United States.
David Paul Morris Bloomberg | Getty Images
Rimac told CNBC that he was “a little surprised” the car sold out so quickly. He said, the most buyers are in the United States.
The Mistral, according to Rimac, was intended to pay homage to the ultimate combustion engine.
“We wanted to give it one last hurrah,” he said. “It’s a celebration of that amazing engine that is so unique and a pinnacle of engine development that will probably never be surpassed.”
Bugatti also makes supercars called Rimac Rimac, including the Rimac Navera, an all-electric 1,900-horsepower supercar that sells for $2.1 million and is seeing strong orders from U.S. buyers.
Rimac Group’s biggest growth driver is Rimac Technology, which sells high-performance battery and EV technology to Porsche, Aston Martin, Hyundai and others. The division, which now has about 1,000 employees, is also developing self-driving “robotaxis” technology, which remains under wraps until a possible launch in 2024 or later.
The CEO declined to offer specifics but said shortages of raw materials needed for EVs will likely force the use of shared, self-driving vehicles rather than mass production in the coming years to meet demand.
“The No. 1 constraint is having enough materials and supply chains to transition our global fleet,” he said. “I don’t think the right way to do it is to convert one to another, like a combustion engine car for an electric car, because we’re only using them 3% of the time.
“Most people, they don’t necessarily want to own a car if there’s a more convenient, safer option that gets you from point A to point B,” Rimack said.
Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s private equity business, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and others invested more than $500 million in Rimac Group in June, valuing the company at more than $2 billion.
CEO Rimac said the company plans to do an initial public offering eventually, but not anytime soon.
“We will go public at some point,” he said. “We’re in no rush. … We want to go to market when the time is really right when the company has really strong financials and we’re very close to that. So we’ll go public, but if it’s in three years or five years or six, I don’t know, we’ll see.”
He said the company is waiting in part because of the industry-wide flood of go-public mergers with special purpose acquisition companies.
“I’ve been publicly against this kind of craziness that’s been going on with SPACs for the past few years. I knew it would be ugly and most of them did,” Rimac said. “There are certainly very good companies that have done SPACs and gone public that way, but a lot of people have lost a lot of money, especially in the electric car industry. So we didn’t want to do that.”