New Geely Plant in China Will Be the Home of Future Lotus Vehicles
It appears production of the brand's sports cars will remain in the UK, but others will move to China.
You might think of Lotus as a quintessentially British marque, but the U.K. brand that is now owned by Geely is looking to China for production space according to Reuters. Geely’s new factory in Wuhan City, China cost $1.3 billion to build and has the capacity to crank out 150,000 cars annually. It will allegedly make Lotus a higher-volume brand, likely bringing the introduction of a long-rumored Lotus SUV.
This is the first major shake-up for Lotus since Geely acquired a majority stake in the brand in 2017. Geely is traditionally a low-cost-high-volume manufacturer, but it’s looking to expand into higher-end car markets, and its control of Lotus is part of that plan.
"For Geely, going high-end can help it take more market share," Alan Kang, Shanghai-based analyst at LMC Automotive told Reuters. "Geely needs to do that to better compete with global brands."
On top of Chinese Lotus manufacturing, Geely is also investing in the existing Lotus headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk, England. The plant there will remain the home of Lotus sports cars, at least for now, and it’s already expanding the English HQ having recruited 289 new employees there in 2018.
Since Lotus only sold 1,630 cars globally in 2018, Lotus will probably only make up a small portion of the production that happens at the new Chinese plant, but the brand’s volume will certainly go up. Hopefully, this means we can expect some real confirmation of future Lotus products soon rather than just unconfirmed rumors.
- RELATEDLotus SUV to Arrive in 'About Four Years,' May Share Volvo ComponentsAn interview with Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales reveals new details about the upcoming Lotus crossover.READ NOW
- RELATEDLotus Developing $2.6 Million Electric Hypercar, Concept Coming in 2019: ReportLotus is allegedly brewing up one hell of a halo car thanks to a potential influx of cash from its new owner Geely.READ NOW
- RELATEDGeely, Owners of Volvo and Lotus Have Purchased Utah Motorsports CampusManagement hopes the Utah racing facility—now under Chinese ownership—will achieve profitability in the future.READ NOW
- RELATEDLotus Needs Help Finding the First Car it Ever MadeFounder Colin Chapman's Mark I hasn't been seen since it was sold in 1950.READ NOW
- RELATEDGeely Reportedly Considering $1.9 Billion Lotus MakeoverGeely apparently wants Lotus to be a competitor with the likes of Ferrari and Porsche.READ NOW