Sold! Geely’s Acquisition of Lotus Is Now Complete
Be on the lookout for Lotus to slowly start transitioning into a global brand...by Kirby Garlitos, on
After much talk about the fate of Lotus now that Geely was nearing the acquisition of the British sports car, both sides have finally hammered home a deal. Geely is now the new majority owner of Lotus. Strike the bells; the deal is done!
The finalized acquisition of Lotus puts Geely a step closer to becoming one of the most prominent Chinese automakers in the world. It already owns Volvo, which is coming off the heels of finalizing the separation of performance division Polestar with the latter now entrenched as a full-fledged performance brand. In addition, Geely also owns start-up Lynk & Co. and the London Taxi Company. The acquisition of a 51-percent ownership stake in Lotus means that Geely will now occupy three of the five seats on Lotus’ Board of Directors with the remaining two seats going to Malaysian Erika Automotive, which retains the other 49 percent stake in the British sports car brand. All three seats are now occupied by some of the most notable higher-ups within Geely, including executive vice president Daniel Donghui Li, who has been named the Chairman of the Board. In addition, Fen Qing Feng and Nathan Yu Ning have also been appointed to the Board on behalf of the Chinese auto conglomerate. Now that the acquisition is complete, Geely can now move forward with its plans for Lotus and take the company to heights it has never reached in the past. Perhaps those rumors of a Lotus SUV will finally come to fruition.
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What can we expect from Lotus moving forward?
At this point, anything’s now possible with Lotus. Remember, the automaker may not have had the most stable of histories, but it has rebounded quite impressively in the last couple of years. It’s already turned a profit in the first half of 2017 under the leadership of CEO Jean-Marc Gales, who not surprisingly was retained as the automaker’s chief executive. Sales have been good for Lotus this year as the company has also reported a sales increase of 10 percent year-on-year, so that’s another aspect where the automaker is trending up.
The financial stability that comes with Geely’s majority acquisition could be the game-changing break the British automaker needed
As healthy as Lotus has looked though, the financial stability that comes with Geely’s majority acquisition could be the game-changing break the British automaker needed to help evolve it from a niche sports car brand into a truly global company. Remember the rumors about a possible Lotus SUV coming in the next few years? That becomes a big possibility now, maybe even an inevitability depending on how serious Geely is in expanding Lotus’ lineup beyond all the lightweight special edition sports cars it currently builds.
Beyond the rumored Lotus SUV, the acquisition also helps open new doors for Lotus on the technological sphere. It may run counter to Lotus’ roots as a sports car brand, but could it be that we end up seeing hybrid versions of its models, let alone fully electric sports cars or even autonomous driving cars in the future? That’s now in play though I don’t know if it will be good for Lotus.
Lotus now has the money to work on either expanding its model lineup, improve on its current range, or do whatever it is it thinks it needs to do to get a better foothold in the entire auto industry
Regardless of all the rumors that are popping up right now, what’s important is that Geely’s majority acquisition of the brand now puts it in a place it has rarely been in over the past decade or so. Lotus now has the money to work on either expanding its model lineup, improve on its current range, or do whatever it is it thinks it needs to do to get a better foothold in the entire auto industry.
Suddenly, Lotus’ future is looking as bright as it’s ever been now that Geely’s in the fold. I’d be lying if I said I’m not excited about the possibilities. The company’s new Chairman of the Board, Daniel Donghui Li, seems to think so too. “With the transaction completion we now look forward to working with our partners to develop the Lotus brand into a globally competitive brand and a well-recognized leader in the sports car market," he said.
"We are extremely confident that Lotus will go above and beyond the expectations of the automotive industry and consumer base in the near future.”
Read our full speculative review on the 2018 Lotus SUV.
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