Super-wealthy buyers of supercars are showing no signs of reducing their spending despite fears of a recession, according to the CEO of Bugatti Rimac.
Met Rimac said demand for the company’s all-electric Rimac supercars and its combustion engine Bugattis is strong and could accelerate.
“We don’t see any slowdown now, quite the opposite,” he said. “With Bugatti, we are well sold in 2025. So even if (the downturn) is a few years, we will come out of it stronger.”
Bugatti’s new $5 million Mistral roadster — a 1,577-horsepower, quad-turbo W16 engine — sold out all 99 models produced when it was unveiled Friday at Monterey Car Week in California. Named after the cold, northwesterly winds that blow through southern France, the car is billed as the last of the non-electric Bugattis as the company begins its transition to hybrids 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, US.
David Paul Morris Bloomberg Getty Images
Rimac told CNBC that he was “a little surprised” the car sold so quickly. He said that the largest number of buyers are in America.
The Mistral, according to Rimac, was intended to pay homage to the ultimate combustion engine.
“We want 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 Rimac also produces supercars under the Rimac name, including the Rimac Nevera, an all-electric 1,900-horsepower supercar that sells for $2.1 million and is seeing strong orders from American 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 secret until a possible launch in 2024 or later.
The CEO declined to offer specifics but said the lack of raw materials needed for EVs will force the use of shared, self-driving vehicles instead of mass production in the coming years to meet demand.
“The No. 1 bottleneck is having enough material and supply chain to transform the fleet we have globally,” he said. “I don’t think the right way to do it is to convert one to one, like a combustion engine car for an electric car, because we’re only using them 3% of the time.
“Most people, they really don’t want to own a car if there’s a more convenient, safer option that gets you from point A to point B,” Remak 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 eventually have an initial public offering, but not anytime soon.
He said, ‘We will make it public some time. “We’re in no rush. … We want to go to market when it’s really the right time when the company has really, really strong financials and we’re very close to that. So we will go public, but if it’s in three. years or five years or Well, I don’t know, we’ll see.
He said the company is waiting in part for the industry-wide flood of go-public mergers with special purpose acquisition companies.
“I’m very publicly against this kind of hysteria that’s been going on with SPACs over the past two years. I knew it would end ugly and many of them did,” Rimac said. “Of course there are a lot of 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 vehicle industry. So we don’t want to do that.”