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Featured British sports car maker Lotus bought by China's Geely

Discussion in 'Lotus' started by Cashmere, May 24, 2017.

  1. Cashmere

    Cashmere Well-Known Member

    Lotus, the British sports car maker, is being bought by China's Geely.


    The purchase is part of a deal by Geely to buy a 49.9% stake in Malaysian carmaker Proton, which owns Lotus.

    Geely, which also owns the London Taxi Company and Sweden's Volvo Car Group, will take a 51% stake in Lotus.

    Jean-Marc Gales, who became Lotus chief executive in 2014, has been trying to return the Norwich-based company to consistent profit after two decades in the red.

    It was effectively locked out of United States in 2015 when its airbags failed to comply with new car safety regulations, but Lotus returned to the American market last summer.

    While the Lotus car company has not been involved in Formula 1 racing since the 1990s it runs an engineering consultancy selling sports car technology.

    Geely is expected to use its research in composite materials and lightweight technology to help it comply with increasingly demanding emission regulations in China.

    Proton decline
    The stake in Proton is expected to give Geely access to the south-east Asian market, where it wants to use Volvo technologies to reclaim market share.

    James Chao, of consultancy IHS Markit Automotive, said: "Geely has validated the model of using their Volvo technology platform to create good products. That should be the same for Proton."

    Proton also gives Geely access to right-hand-drive markets around the world, including Malaysia, the UK, India and Australia.

    Proton was founded in 1983 by former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, but its fortunes have dwindled from national champion to being a minor player even in its own domestic market.

    It will continue to be majority owned by the Malaysian DRB-HICOM group.

    The Malaysian government gave Proton 1.5bn ringgit ($364m) in financial aid last year on condition that it find a foreign partner.

    Malaysia's second finance minister, Johari Abdul Ghani, said: "Proton will always remain a national car and a source of pride. Our very own much-loved brand now has a real chance in making a comeback."

    Geely aims to produce three million cars by 2020 across all its operations.

    Link: British sports car maker Lotus bought by China's Geely - BBC News
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    • Cashmere

      Cashmere Well-Known Member

      I think this deal has the potential to be good for Lotus if Geely can replicate what they did with Volvo.

      Pump more resources into Lotus and also get the design and engine team from Volvo & Lotus to collaborate - it could lead to something significantly more exciting than what Lotus currently offers.
      Last edited: May 24, 2017
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      • klier

        klier Member

        1000 hp electric Lotus hypercar incoming.

        I'll get back to this in 5 years.
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        • hoffmeister_fan

          hoffmeister_fan Well-Known Member

          If they can manage to make a true lightweight and entertaining electric sportscar, they might find the niche they've been longing for. And with Geely's backing and Volvo's know-how, it has less of a chance of being vaporware compared to their other Chinese couterparts.
        • Merc1

          Merc1 Well-Known Member Contributing Member

          Exactly. Lotus just needs the investment. This is actually really good news.

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          • Giannis

            Giannis Global Moderator / Editor Staff Member

            Either this, or a new Lotus model with 12 airbags, 5 different active safety systems and the most comfortable seats in its class.

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            • SCOTT27

              SCOTT27 Well-Known Member Contributing Member

              I wonder if they will again look at that expansion plan they had previously.
              What is interesting is potentially a Lotus engineered Volvo Sporty Coupe could be a distinct possibility.
            • speed_kills

              speed_kills Well-Known Member

              Great news. It's better than living permanently in a limbo. Let's see if they can manage a company like Lotus.
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              • klier

                klier Member


                Yeah, or that. It could really swing both ways.

                If they can handle a company like Volvo, which they can, Lotus will be complete peanuts.
              • Cashmere

                Cashmere Well-Known Member

                Lotus production could begin in China, says Geely owner

                Production of Lotus cars may have a future in China following the brand’s acquisition by Chinese car company Geely.

                Geely chairman Li Shufu said that the priority of the deal is to make Lotus and parent company Proton, which was also acquired by Geely, profitable, reports Bloomberg. It was not mentioned whether Shufu referred to one model or multiple, however.

                While Lotus posted a profit for the first time in 20 years this year, its foothold on the UK market is tentative, with sales having fluctuated in recent years.

                Although an outright move of production of a model or models is not confirmed, it's not off the table, given the movement of Volvo S90 production to China late last year by Geely, as well as the cheaper cost of production there.

                Despite the Chinese production potential, it’s expected that Lotus’s headquarters will remain in the UK, just as Volvo’s remained in Gothenburg, Sweden, following its takeover by Geely.

                Shufu also said that electrification, further lightweight and artificial intelligence were priorities for the Lotus and Proton brands, as it looks to use Proton’s knowhow to conquer the South East Asian market.

                It’s possible that as Lotus looks to build its car line-up with its first ever SUV, a notably more profitable model for other brands, Shufu could be looking to boost these profits with reduced production costs of a Chinese plant. Lotus's lower-volume market than Volvo's could also be a catalyst in the decision.

                Lotus production could begin in China, says Geely owner | Autocar
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                • Rolf

                  Rolf Well-Known Member

                  In my opinion this is an exciting move as finally Lotus gets the proper financial backing to unleash much more worthwhile new models. My wish list is a new Esprit, new Europa and new Elan coupe
                • Centurion

                  Centurion Well-Known Member Premium Member Contributing Member

                  Dany Bahar is that you? :D
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                  • Cashmere

                    Cashmere Well-Known Member

                    I was reading over Geely's history and it is astonishing how far they've come in such a short time. I constructed a timeline of the company's brief but incredible history

                    1986 - Founded as a fridge manufacturing company
                    1990 - Manufactring motorcycles
                    1998 - Produced first van
                    1999 - Get license to manufacture cars under Shanghai Maple
                    2002 - First mass produced car
                    2005 - First exhibit booth at Frankfurt Motorshow
                    2006 - Geely forms joint venture with Managanese to manufacture London Taxi Cab
                    2008 - TX4 taxi cab announced, manufactured in Shanghai
                    2010 - Geely acquires Volvo
                    2013 - London Taxi company goes bankrupt, Geely agrees to purchase all assets.
                    2015- Geely announced plan to build new £250 million for plant in Coventry for London Taxi Co
                    2016 - Geely acquires Yuang Cheng Auto (focused on electric commercial trucks & buses)
                    2016 - Geely sales surpass 700,000 vehicles.

                    Now if you think that is crazy, here's the list for 2017

                    Jan 2017 - Geely unveils new Lynk & Co. brand. An all electric brand that will have a direct sales model (similar to Tesla) and focus on younger age group. Sales will begin in China at the end of the year and then start in the US next year.


                    May 2017 - Geely acquires Proton, Malaysia's largest car company with strong growth in developing economies.


                    May 2017 - Geely acquires Lotus


                    July 2017 - Rebrands London Taxi Company to London EV Company and unveils new electric taxi

                    logo. _fer4469.

                    July 2017 - Geely acquires Terrafugia - A VTOL (Vertical Takeoff/Landing) startup founded by MIT graduates in 2006


                    If their history is anything to go by, I think Geely might become one of the biggest car companies in the world by the next decade.
                    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
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                    • Giannis

                      Giannis Global Moderator / Editor Staff Member

                      Thanks for the very useful info @Cashmere

                      I had no idea that:
                      • Geely bought Terrafugia. I thought they had gone bankrupt
                      • Geely bought London Taxi and made a new one using the S90 interior pieces molds
                      • Geely made fridges
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                      • Centurion

                        Centurion Well-Known Member Premium Member Contributing Member

                        The London Taxi is not shabby at all. I can't think of any hybrid on the market that beats it's 70 mile range, and it can seat 8 people including the driver! The Volvo bits in the interior is a massive bonus.
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                        • Gianclaudio

                          Gianclaudio Well-Known Member

                          On a side note, I was expecting that the big enterprise which is the bolivian dealer for Geely (also dealers for Chevrolet, Mazda, Renault, Suzuki, Iveco, Michelin and a number of other chinese brands) was going to bring back Volvo to our market at some point, being the Geely distributor. They have excellent prices in all their brands, case in fact, I payed just a little more for my Megane compared to the european price (and about the same with Mazda, Suzuki, and all)

                          But, no, it didn't happen and another consortium (dealers for Porsche and also JLR) brought Volvo back about a month ago...and their prices are higher than Audi and Mercedes :rolleyes:

                          There goes my wishes to become another @Giannis and having a Renault and Volvo
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                          • Cashmere

                            Cashmere Well-Known Member

                            Good news! After shutting down its academy last year due to cost-cutting, Lotus is now reopening its driving academy! Driving courses starting from £119

                            Link: Lotus Driving Academy

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