Hyundai Motor is ending projects with Rimac Group after the Croatian automaker deepened its ties to Porsche, insiders told automotive media. It remains to be seen what will happen to Hyundai-Kia’s stake in the Rimac Group, especially since the move already affects joint projects.
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Hyundai and Kia had invested 80 million euros in Rimac in 2019 and launched a strategic partnership. The cooperation was to bear a battery-electric sports car for Hyundai’s N Performance brand and a sporty fuel cell vehicle.
Hyundai would finish the electric sports car project launched in cooperation with Rimac in-house and also discontinue the joint work on the fuel cell EV, writes Automotive News Europe.
It remains unclear whether the Korean company will sell its stake in Rimac, and Hyundai has not replied to requests for comments.
“We have two active high-level projects ongoing [with Hyundai], one completed and several future projects under discussion,” a Rimac spokeswoman said in an email to Automotive News Europe.
Rimac further denied that Porsche’s increased influence in the company had given Hyundai reason to depart.
Porsche had increased its stake in Rimac from 15.5 to 24 per cent last year. At the same time, Rimac formed a joint venture with Porsche to take over the Bugatti brand from the Volkswagen Group as reported.
“Hyundai has been supportive in the company’s transformation during the last 12 months – including the carve-out of Rimac Technology and joining forces with Bugatti under the new company Bugatti Rimac,” the spokesperson told ANE.
The Rimac Group, in which Hyundai and Porsche hold stakes, owns 55 per cent of Bugatti-Rimac. The development service provider Rimac Technology, which is involved in numerous 800-volt and performance BEV projects of established manufacturers, is wholly owned by Rimac Group.
However, the 800-volt system on Hyundai’s E-GMP platform is an in-house development. Hyundai later denied reports that Rimac was involved.
Update 09 May 2022
Recent rumours that Hyundai Motor is ending its projects with Rimac Group after the Croatian automaker deepened its ties with Porsche are now denied by both sides. “Hyundai and Kia continue to invest in the Rimac Group and can confirm that several high-level partnership projects are currently underway,” Hyundai said when asked by the German publication Auto, Motor und Sport. According to the statement, both parties recognize the value of this strategic partnership and intend to continue working together in the future. Rimac had also confirmed that both companies are currently discussing other future projects.
The confusion following the “Automotive News” insider report should thus be cleared up – at least publicly. As reported above, Rimac had also shown itself to be positive, citing talks about several future projects – just as Hyundai has now also expressed itself. Whether the partnership will actually bear fruit will become clear when the corresponding models are launched on the market.
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