Geely will give Lotus the money for the new plantSeptember 28, 2018
The British company Lotus, since the spring of last year owned by the Chinese Geely, will return to the market with an updated model series. The first and most killer new, most likely, will be a crossover.
After many years (from 1996 to 2017) staying in the grip of the mean Malaysian holding DRB-Hicom, Lotus will finally receive sufficient funding to upgrade, that is, to actually form its model lineup from scratch. The last full-fledged novelty – the Evora coupe – was presented by the British back in 2008, and all subsequent releases were variations on the theme of this and older models on the Elise platform, which debuted as early as 1996.
In 2010, Lotus presented five concepts at once at the Paris Motor Show: the mid-engine sports cars Elan, Elise and Esprit, the classic layout Elite coupe and the Eterne sedan. All of them had to later turn into mass-produced cars, but the Malaysian owner did not give money to any of them, so to this day Lotus lives with an outdated model line, although sluggish work on the crossover was carried out before going under the Geely wing.
In June of this year, Lotus changed its head at Lotus: Feng Qingfeng, vice president of Geely, took the place of Jean-Marc Galya, and things started to turn out. In August, Bloomberg reported with reference to informed sources that the Chinese are ready to take up the Lotus seriously, to increase their share in it (while Geely owns 51% of the shares of the British company) and turn it into a full-fledged competitor to Ferrari and Porsche. For these purposes, it is planned to spend about two billion dollars, modernize the Lotus historical factory in Hetel (Norfolk County) and build a new plant in the west of England that would significantly expand the range and volumes of the Lotus plant. It is planned to create new items in a modern engineering and design center in Coventry – it also just has to be built.
The first completely new model of the Lotus in the recent history is likely to become a crossover, since a lot of work has already been done on it. Another thing is that the project now needs to be refined, taking into account Geely’s plans and capabilities, and therefore the timing of the debut is not yet known.
But it is known for sure that after large-scale health procedures Lotus will return to Russia! Before the crisis, the British brand had one official dealer in our country, but there was no representation and, as a result, a coherent development strategy. In the future, the representative office will be opened and a full-fledged dealer network will be formed, which was hinted at in a recent interview with AutoTimesNews by Zhang Shouhe, first deputy CEO of LLC Geely Motors. The full text of the interview can be found here.