Geely – owner of Lotus – is reportedly planning to start producing Lotus cars in a new facility in Wuhan, China.
Geely took control of the brand in 2017, but its strategic direction has not been made clear since then. Reports suggest the move could be part of a broader strategy to boost production and add new models – such as SUVs – to the Lotus brand.
According to a Reuters report, Geely and Lotus said in a joint statement that while Norfolk was Lotus's manufacturing home, a key part of the firm's strategy to revive the brand was expanding the brand's manufacturing footprint globally.
Last year, Lotus Cars registered its strongest sales since 2011 with sales reaching 1,630 units. This year, the company is planning to expand sales volumes in China and the US.
The Reuters report said that a planning authority in Wuhan has approved Geely's plans for the new Geely plant – which will be able to produce 150,000 cars a year. It added that the Wuhan Development Zone said in a statement that production at the plant would include 'Geely's Lotus project'.
Lotus, which Geely acquired in 2017 when it purchased Proton, makes sports cars at Hethel, in Norfolk, England. The brand has strong heritage values in motorsport, but attempts to substantially lift its volume and turn it into a major force – a 'British Porsche' – failed under its previous owners.
How well do you really know your competitors?
Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.
Your download email will arrive shortly
Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample
We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below formBy GlobalData
See also: Lotus under Geely – what's the plan?