GENEVA, March 5, 2019
2019 is Koenigsegg Automotive’s silver jubilee. The company began operations in August 1994 when a 22-year-old Christian von Koenigsegg decided to pursue his automotive dream.
The first customer car – a CC8S – was delivered in 2003. Koenigsegg has produced a further ten models and various special editions since that time – CCR, CCX, CCGT, CCXR, Agera, Agera R, Agera S, One:1, Agera RS and Regera.
Koenigsegg’s twelfth model – Jesko – was introduced at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show and will join the Regera on the Koenigsegg production line in 2020.
Recent years have seen the company grow from an admired pioneering carmaker to a renowned industry icon. Koenigsegg is synonymous with innovation and known for its commitment to the ultimate in vehicle performance. It is a visionary carmaker, unafraid to challenge conventional thinking.
ANSWERING QUESTIONS NOBODY WAS ASKING – YET
When Christian von Koenigsegg began his automotive journey 25 years ago, there was a lone player in what you might call the hyper-performance market. The McLaren F1 is revered today as a generational car – the ultimate performance benchmark. The leap it represented from the rest of the market at the time was extraordinary and yet it was not the type of commercial success that could build a company at that time. McLaren built the F1 until 1998 before fading from view as an automaker for over 10 years.
Such was the business case for ultra-high performance cars in the mid-1990’s. It was a market boasting few customers for a high-cost product that nobody knew they wanted – the perfect setting to carve a new niche.
Koenigsegg Automotive entered this market in 1994 with little more than a dream, a sketch (done on Microsoft Paint!) and inexhaustible determination.
Christian’s first prototype took two years to build and was first tested in 1996. It took another 6 years of faith, dedication, blood, sweat and tears before the first customer cars were completed in 2002, ready for delivery early the following year.
This was a testing time, to say the least.
Koenigsegg persevered through recessions and market challenges that saw reputed names falter and disappear. Most famously, the company survived a factory fire that could have destroyed everything they’d worked so hard for – just days before delivering their first production car at the 2003 Geneva Motor Show.
A FOCUS ON BLISTERING PERFORMANCE
Koenigsegg has grown stronger every year, designing new solutions that re-define what the world knows about the limits of automotive performance. Every model the company has released has raised the bar, either by setting mind-bending performance records or by introducing new, industry-first technologies.
The CC8S was awarded a Guinness World Record as the most powerful production car in history in 2002. The CCR took that record and added the McLaren F1’s top speed record as well. The CCX dominated Top Gear’s test track and the CCXR broke ground as the world’s first ‘green’ hypercar when it added flex-fuel capability.
The Agera R set five performance records, including a staggering 21.19 seconds from 0-300-0 km/h. The Agera S introduced the world’s first carbon fibre wheels for a production car (designed and made in-house).
The One:1 was the world’s first production car with a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio. With 1 megawatt of power available on E85 biofuel, it was also the world’s first ‘megacar’. The One:1 smashed the Agera R’s 0-300-0 km/h time by nearly 4 seconds and set lap records at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium, and Japan’s famed Suzuka Circuit.
The Agera RS set five world records in 2017, including a new production car top speed record, and slicing 9 seconds from a 0-400-0 km/h record set just a few months before by the Bugatti Chiron.
The Regera introduced Direct Drive technology and pioneered an electric drive system with more electric power than the Porsche 918, the McLaren P1 and the Ferrari LaFerrari combined.
POLE POSITION FOR THE FUTURE
The same spirit that saw Koenigsegg shape a new market for ultra-high performance still carries the company today, though it is remarkable how the market has changed.
Where a sane business analyst could never make a case for Koenigsegg in the mid-1990’s, today the company faces competition from the most exclusive boutique producers as well as multiple, deep-pocketed, global giants.
Koenigsegg is well positioned to continue leading the way.
The period 2015-2018 saw the company increase its headcount from 70 to just over 200 people. In the same period, it added 50% to its factory footprint by taking over an additional hangar at the company’s Valhall Park production facility. Around 800 square meters of mezzanine floor space were added to existing facilities in 2018/19 and the same will be added to the new third hanger in 2019/20.
The Agera RS was a series of 25 vehicles. The Regera is a series of 80 vehicles. Koenigsegg’s new model – Jesko – will be produced in a series of 125 vehicles, reflecting the increased demand for Koenigsegg vehicles, worldwide.
To service this demand, Koenigsegg has expanded its representation around the world with new dealers added in China, South Korea, Malaysia, Australia and key market cities in the United States. A new Swiss dealer opened the doors of their brand new showroom in March 2019. All dealers send technicians to Sweden for training so as to better service customers in their local market.
January 2019 saw Koenigsegg enter into a joint venture with National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS). The two companies are joining forces in order to bring a unique and exciting vehicle to market in slightly higher volumes than typical Koenigsegg production runs.
Christian von Koenigsegg and the Koenigsegg team will lead the design, engineering and technical specification of the vehicle. NEVS will assist with development facilities, volume production engineering, testing and sub-assemblies. Final assembly of the car will take place in Ängelholm in an enlarged factory next to Koenigsegg’s existing development and production facilities.
The result of this collaboration will be a Koenigsegg car that benefits from NEVS’s experience preparing for higher volume production and their comprehensive development resources.
Koenigsegg is 25 years into its journey and has truly emerged from its adolescence. It has an identity to be proud of and a robust organisation that is hungry to keep building the world’s most innovative megacars.
A new era dawns. Perfection, as always, is a moving target.
Koenigsegg is ready for the challenge.