“These videos reached key decision makers and they came knocking and asking Mate how he did it and can he do it for them,” says Longin.
Before he’d produced a single saleable car, Mate had focused the company’s efforts on crafting the components and software he believed were necessary to create his ultimate car. That justifies the presence of the hundreds of individuals who work at Rimac. Every room I walk through is buzzing with people – and the occasional dog. (The workplace is dog friendly.)
“The technology Mate wanted in the car wasn’t even available in the market,” says Longin. “The high-performance batteries and the motors, nobody has done it before. He wanted to revolutionise this whole industry and show people how exciting electric cars can be.”
The business model is like no other, one where the vast bulk of revenue comes from outside car makers and the Rimac cars are seemingly a sideshow.
It’s worth putting the production volumes into perspective, too. Last year, there were 8,885,533 Toyotas produced globally. With some 370,000 employees, that means every person – whether they were cleaning the toilets or styling the Supra – produced on average 24 cars. Even Ferrari – where things move much slower and on a different scale – manages almost three cars per employee per year, for a total approaching 10,000.
At its current rate, each Rimac employee produces 0.0036 of a car per year. When the C_Two comes on stream, that will increase to about 0.06 cars per employee per year, although more people are being hired, which promises to reduce that number.
Not that the Rimac folk are sniffing for ways to fill their time. Anything but. The place is tense with energy. Rather than robots and production lines, there are rows of Dells and Lenovos and young people tapping away with a chilled enthusiasm generation Z has nailed.
On the factory floor, you’re more likely to see battery components, crisply carved aluminium and immaculately finished carbonfibre fresh from the autoclaves, which give an idea of the investment in manufacturing.