Porsche backed EV maker warms up for SPACs

, Automotive News

Rimac spent its early years much like other electric-vehicle startups -- struggling to survive from one day to the next. That all started to change well before billions of dollars began pouring into the sector.

The Croatian maker of 2,000-horsepower hypercars has not needed to ride the blank-check boom thanks to backing from automakers including Porsche and Hyundai Motor Group.

While its 33-year-old founder has warned the special-purpose acquisition company frenzy is benefiting unproven EV companies, he is reluctant to miss out.

"The girl who everybody wants to marry -- that's what we are for SPACs at the moment," Mate Rimac said in an interview. "All of them are calling us because we have this unique story and value proposition. We are talking, we are checking all the options and we'll see later this year."

What has preoccupied the CEO more than going public has been securing enough office and manufacturing space. He has spent eight years meticulously planning a campus that reflects how lucrative it can be helping Porsche, Hyundai and Aston Martin make better hybrid and electric cars.

The CEO is revealing plans this week for a 200,000 square-meter (49-acre) new campus on the outskirts of Zagreb, Croatia's capital city, that will have capacity for 2,500 employees -- roughly 2 1/2 times the company's current headcount. Production is slated to start there in 2023.

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