They want to push the brand right into the fast lane.
The new owners of British sports car marque Lotus have huge plans for the brand, with Geely earmarking some £1.5-billion (or about $2.61-billion in our money) to expand the capabilities and product range of the relatively-niche manufacturer. This will demand that Geely purchase more than the 51% of Lotus that they already own, with the remaining 49% held by Malaysian concern Etika Automotive.
With the money in place, Lotus will enjoy some serious upgrades. The Coventry headquarters will gain a new design centre, while the Midlands production facility will be upgraded and made larger to handle greater volume. 200 new engineers are set to be hired too, many of whom we reckon will likely be working night and day to get Lotus’ SUV out the door by 2020.
Geely big man Li Shufu said in the past that with Lotus, the company would remain very much in the UK:
“This is just like what we had done with the London Taxi Company: Engineered in Britain, designed in Britain, and built in Britain. We see no reason to move fifty years of combined experience to China; Let them do what they do best, in Britain.” — Li Shufu, Chairman, Geely Automotive
However, while design and engineering will remain entirely in the UK, Geely does have intention to set up a new, second production facility in China. This will be critical to ensure that, when the brand picks up momentum, the company will be able to service the demand they’re hoping to build in Asia.
In an email to Bloomberg, Geely said that it is “fully committed to restoring Lotus into being a leading global luxury brand,” and we’ve little doubt that with the SUV on the range, Lotus will do just that.