Bulgarian racing-car maker eyes IPO to begin EV push

October 30, 2018 14:56 CET

SOFIA — Sin Cars, a Bulgarian producer of racing cars that compete in the GT4 European amateur championship series, plans to go public to finance expansion into the electric-cars market.

The automaker that contends with brands like Porsche, Aston Martin and Maserati, seeks to raise about 20 million lev ($11.7 million) in an initial public offering on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange next year, Sin Cars’ owner Rosen Daskalov said in an interview at his factory in the Danube city of Russe, Bulgaria.

“Our goal is to sell a multifunctional small city car which will be used for courier deliveries, taxi services, transportation,” Daskalov, 47, said. “European cities need this kind of transport. City centers will soon be closed for diesel cars. China is far away, and we can offer a better quality.”

The company, which was set up five years ago, presented a full-electric model called the S1 at this year’s Geneva auto show, that has a starting price of 40,000 euros ($45,400).

But traveling with EVs outside cities, even with a calculated range of 500 kilometers (311 miles) may be challenging, as there is still no reliable grid of charging stations in most European countries, according to Daskalov. Yet there is a market niche for small electric city cars “where lower speed and range allow for lower production costs,” he says.

Daskalov’s new L-City modifiable electric platform will be presented in Geneva next year. It will be offered in several modifications ranging from small delivery trucks to passenger cars. It will compete with similar technologies produced by companies such as Piaggio & C and Polaris Industries. With a range of 150 km (93 miles), it will have a base price of about 10,000 euros, Daskalov said.

The L-City production line is designed with an annual capacity of about 20,000 vehicles which will target the European market. Start of serial production is planned for 2020.

“My dream is to make 30-40 cars a day, which is realistic for the market on which we are focused — the big cities in Europe,” Daskalov said.

The executive, an avid racer himself, plans to offer about a 40 percent stake in a special-purpose company that will be set up to finance a production line for small EVs.

Sin, which produces about 50 custom racing cars a year for clients in the U.S., South America and Australia, sees this year’s sales at about $2.3 million.

With relatively high skills and low labor costs after the fall of the communism, eastern Europe has become a home to a variety of automakers, suppliers and raw materials producers. In Bulgaria, which joined the European Union in 2007, about 150 plants producing parts for leading global automakers, contribute 4.5 percent of the Black sea nation’s economic output, according to Automotive Cluster Bulgaria, the industry’s lobby in Sofia.

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