Ambitious Chinese automaker wants to turn Lotus into Porsche and Ferrari rival
Geely is reportedly considering authorising £1.5 billion ($2.7 billion) to revitalise British sports car maker Lotus.
Sources have told Bloomberg the plan under investigation includes hiring an additional 200 engineers, and building a second UK factory, probably in the West Midlands.
Geely is also said to be thinking of increasing its stake in Lotus. The Chinese car maker currently owns a 51 per cent of the British marque, with the remainder owned by Etika Automotive, an investment vehicle controlled by Malaysian businessman Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary.
In an email to the business publication, Geely stated it had already approved a new UK design studio in Coventry. It also confirmed it “is fully committed to restoring Lotus into being a leading global luxury brand”.
Earlier this year, Jean-Marc Gales, Lotus’ former CEO, announced the British marque was planning to launch two new sports car by 2020, and its first-ever crossover by 2022.
Although the specialty car maker’s financial position has improved in recent times, sales have fallen 25 per cent this year in the UK, with just 145 Lotus vehicles sold until the end of July.