Hyundai is reportedly ending joint projects with Croatian automaker Rimac.
Sources tell Automotive News that Hyundai has stopped working with Rimac due to tensions created by Porsche increasing its stake in the electric hypercar manufacturer from 10 to 24 per cent in 2021.
Update: It looks like the original report was off the mark, as confirmed here.
This was part of a deal which saw Rimac and Porsche form a 55/45 joint venture to run Bugatti. The hypercar brand was formally a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group.
In 2019 Hyundai and Kia invested €80 million ($119 million) in Rimac for a 12 per cent stake in the Croatian automaker.
Afterwards the two firms announced a pair of joint projects: an electric sports car for Hyundai’s N performance sub-brand, and a hydrogen fuel cell sports car.
The trade publication’s sources indicate Hyundai will finish the electric car by itself, and launch the car in 2023. The fuel cell vehicle, though, is said to be cancelled.
A Rimac spokesperson said, “We have two active high-level projects ongoing [with Hyundai], one completed and several future projects under discussion”.
They didn’t confirm if the completed collaboration is the N-branded EV.
The spokesperson refuted claims Porsche’s increased influence has been caused issues, stating, “Hyundai has been supportive in the transformation of the company during the last 12 months”.
In addition to making vehicles under its own name, Rimac through its Rimac Technology subsidiary continues to run a design and engineering consultancy, as well as supply its electric drivetrain technology and expertise to other car companies.
One of the more prominent examples of this is the Pininfarina Battista, the first self-branded car from the famous Italian design firm.
It’s unknown if Hyundai intends to sell down its 12 per cent stake in Rimac. The South Korean firm is currently the third largest single shareholder in Rimac behind founder and CEO Mate Rimac (37 per cent) and Porsche (24 per cent).