Will the Lotus Brand Finally Get a New Owner?
China-based Geely could be up to the task of taking on the Lotus brandby Robert Moore, on
It’s no secret that Lotus has had its share of financial problems, with Automotive News Europe recently reporting that Lotus’ current parent company – Proton – was considering selling a stake in the brand back in mid-September. Since then little has been said, but if a new report from Road & Track is to be believed, Lotus could soon fall under the ownership of Geely. Citing “someone close to the fire,” Road & Track claims that Geely is currently on a mission to purchase other automotive companies and that “Lotus would make a great deal of sense for an acquisition.”
While this might come as a surprise to some, those who have been following Geely know that the Chinese-based company has been digging its teeth into the automotive industry in recent years. It acquired Volvo from Ford back in 2010, and two years later, Geely got its hands on The London Taxi Company. If you’re a fan of the Volvo XC90, you can thank Geely for that, as that was its first major launch through Volvo once the Acquisition of the Swedish brand was finalized.
Currently, Geely is dumping money into Lynk & Co, developing a new vehicle platform for new models, that will ultimately be tested through the somewhat-recently-acquired Volvo brand. Considering Lotus is headquartered in the U.K. – Hethel, Norfolk, England, to be exact – it makes a lot of sense for Geely to pursue Lotus as its next major investment. It certainly seems to have the capital that Lotus needs, and the ability to make things happen, so why not?
Why it Matters
The biggest thing holding Lotus back right now is the lack of capital to invest in a new lightweight platform, as well updated safety equipment, and other lightweight materials. With parent company Proton struggling in the cash department, it would be so much better to sell off the brand than to let it quietly cannibalize itself as it tries to push on with outdated platforms and safety equipment. So far, neither Lotus, Proton, or Geely have had anything to say about a possible acquisition, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a group of execs sitting around a big table right now ironing out all the finer details of what could be a life-saving deal for the Lotus brand. For now, the only question is will Geely be the one to inject life’s nectar into the struggling brand, or will Lotus soldier on with financial assistance from some other source?
Source: Road & Track