Christian von Koenigsegg explains how to start a car company

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If you want to start a car company, Christian von Koenigsegg is the man to talk to.

His eponymous firm has only built a small number of high-priced supercars, but it’s still one of the few new automakers to survive in the modern era. This short video provides some of words of wisdom from von Koenigsegg.

“It’s just a lot of hard work,” he said. “If I could give any advice, it’s to stay focused, of course, [and] don’t give up.”

Christian von Koenigsegg and the Koenigsegg One:1

Mastering the everyday tasks of running a business without losing sight of the “dream” is also important, von Koenigsegg said. While he was always motivated by his love of cars, von Koenigsegg said he started his company (at age 22) for the challenge.

“I wanted to prove to myself and everyone around that, if you really want to do something, you can do anything,” he said, adding that he expected to be laughed at by nonbelievers, which made it easier to bear during the early, struggling days of the company.

Koenigsegg was founded in 1994 and completed its first prototype just two years later. However, the automaker’s first production model–the CC8S–didn’t arrive until 2002. The company now produces about 10 cars per year, priced in the seven-figure range.

Koenigsegg Gemera

Koenigsegg Gemera

Chinese conglomerate Evergrande, which also has a controlling interest in electric automaker NEVS, now owns a 20-percent stake of Koenigsegg.

More recently, Koenigsegg has introduced technical innovations like the “Light Speed Transmission,” which offers near-instantaneous shifts, and FreeValve cam-less engines.

Koenigsegg has also embraced electrification. Its latest supercar is the Gemera, a 1,700-horsepower hybrid that uses a 2.0-liter twin-turbocharged 3-cylinder engine, backed by electric motors.

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