Chinese manufacturer Geely – best known internationally for being the parent of Volvo and the new Lynk&Co. brand – decided to buy British sports car maker Lotus back in May through an important deal with Malaysia’s Proton.
The $65 million transaction is now being announced as ready for completion by the end of the month, with Geely afterwards getting a controlling stake in Lotus. “This is fantastic, the best thing that could have happened to us,” comments Chief Executive Officer Jean Marc Gales, who started working for Lotus back in 2014. According to specialists, Lotus should be on a positive track under the ownership of the deep-pocketed Chinese automaker. Geely uses a different approach to its control of brands – they’re giving the money for the investments but allow lots of independence and also kept the same engineering and design teams.
Meanwhile, the British brand is a renowned specialist of lightweight technologies and they could deliver some technologies and engineering strategies that could prove crucial for Geely’s brands – including lightweight chassis and body platforms, as well as electric powertrains. Lotus even has a consultancy division that does exactly that – provide input to other manufacturers on how to cut weight, upgrade mechanical components and tune the aerodynamics. “In two or three years, battery cars will be much higher performing than they are currently because technology moves on,” said Gales in a recent interview. “It could be a really good thing to be the first one to do an electric car that doesn’t weigh two tons.” Before that happens, Lotus will deal with the Brexit situation – as it needs to improve exports.