Beloved British Brand Lotus Will Soon Be Geely Owned
Chinese automaker Geely recently bankrolled Volvo’s turnaround. Could they pull off something similar with the famed British marque?
Since the specialist sports car manufacturing company Lotus was founded by Colin Chapman, an entrepreneurial engineering legend in his own right, way back in nineteen and fifty-two, they’ve ranked highest on our list of favorite British manufacturers. Where other sporting car manufacturers have moved toward a focus on outright power, Lotus has remained steadfast in its dedication to lightweight platforms with usable levels of power. Because of this strict adherence to a specific ethos, Lotus Cars has experienced varying levels of sales success since.
Lotus are currently in a bit of a funk thanks to some poor business planning during the global recession just under a decade ago. As a result, the company is currently going through the process of selling a 51% controlling interest to Chinese billionaire Li Shufu’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. The company’s current CEO, Jean Marc Gales, has led them back toward profitability. Lotus have not seen this kind of in-the-black since the late 1990s, but in order to survive the fallout from ‘Brexit’, they will still need an influx of cash.
If you think that a Chinese company buying Lotus is a bad idea, consider the resurgence that Volvo has experienced with Geely money backing their moves. They’ve slowly and quietly become a world leader in automotive design with some of the greatest curves ever put to sheet metal, and some of the greatest interiors in the luxury market today. Volvo has been forced to create quality products on a modular chassis platform to save some costs. The brand is hyper focused, with multiple variants of the same chassis carrying the same drivetrain options. Lotus could benefit from a similar re-engineering. Rumor has it that this Geely deal means we’ll see a new Elise for the 2020 model year. That simple rumor alone makes us happy about the deal.