Geely could invest $2 billion in Lotus
Lotus could get the large investment it needs to contend with Porsche. Parent company Geely seems committed to making a success of the sports car brand
Lotus is world-renowned for its engineering of sports cars and is frequently used to help develop chassises for other manufacturers in addition to their own.
Sadly, the innovative brand hasn’t enjoyed huge financial success, largely due to lack of funding and ultimately all-new products. However, last year Lotus was bought by Chinese firm Geely, which is now said to be considering investing at least $2 Billion.
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If approved, this is excellent news for Lotus and could be the first step towards a renaissance for the now 70 year-old company. Bloomberg reports that Geely is proposing 'an expansion of Lotus’s Hethel plant with the hiring of 200 engineers'. This suggest that plans for new Lotus models, including a controversial SUV, are going full steam ahead. Geely currently owns 51% of Lotus with further speculation suggesting that it will increase that stake.
There were grand plans for a five-car assault on the sport car market some years ago led by then Lotus CEO Dany Bahar. The crowning glory of the all-new line-up would have been a reborn Esprit to take on Porsche’s 911. However, a lack of funding and Bahar being dismissed from his role for allegedly misusing company funds put and end to the new-era Lotus dream.
Geely has a proven track record for taking brands in need of investment and reincarnating them as profitable luxury manufacturers. In 2010 it became a majority owner of Volvo, which has since taken the fight to dominant luxury outfits such as BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz. If Lotus was to receive the funding that it fully deserves, a new line of models could see it compete with Porsche, Mercedes-AMG, McLaren, and potentially Ferrari.
Maybe we could be seeing a new Lotus Esprit after all!
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