You’ll be Shocked When You Find out Who Geely-Owned Lotus will Soon Compete Against
Geely has owned Lotus since 2017 when it announced big plans now underwayby Andrei Nedelea, on
Geely is one of China’s automotive giants, an industrial colossus that owns Volvo, Proton, Lynk & Co, the London Taxi Company and as of 2017 sports car manufacturer Lotus, as well. Its most recent acquisition was made with the intent to turn it into one of the world’s leading maker of sports cars, to rival the likes of Porsche, maybe even Aston Martin and McLaren.
Lotus is Eyballing New Competitors
The stated plan is to invest as much as $2-billion, and in fact, it’s not just a plan as the investment has already started.
According to Automotive News, Lotus is currently on a bit of a hiring spree, looking to fill mostly management level and engineering positions, and for the latter the ad clearly states that the ideal candidate “must have experience with hybrids and battery electric vehicles,” as well as “including autonomous driving capability of Level 3 and higher.”
An all-new visitor center is being built right now at Lotus’ home base, in Hethel, UK, and if you check out its architecture, it’s clear Lotus is trying to emulate the formula used by McLaren, Aston Martin or Bentley where they woo visitors with their heritage and first leave them in awe before showing them the catalog to start configuring their car.
The company also has a new CEO, Phil Popham, a man with experience at Jaguar-Land Rover, a new product strategy boss, Uday Senapati who formerly worked for Bentley, as well as a new commercial director, Marcus Blake from Aston Martin.
What should you expect to see first, as a direct result of these changes?
Well, there is talk of Lotus working on a hybrid or electric halo hypercar with a price tag of around $1.2-million, then maybe an SUV to challenge the likes of the Porsche Cayenne and after those, a possible revival of the Esprit, believed to arrive in 2020.
However, this is not the first time new owners have taken over Lotus waving wads of cash touting change. Back when Lotus was owned by Malaysia’s Proton, around the year 2010, a similar plan to shake up the company was announced - and they even had a slew of promising concepts on hand to show their planned direction - including an all-new Esprit that got a very positive reception when it was revealed at the 2010 Paris motors show.
It was actually one of five concepts Lotus took to Paris that year - these were an all-new design Elise, as well as a new Elan, Elite and Eterne models - the latter was actually a four-door sedan.
No SUV was shown at that time, but they must have thought about it since even in 2010, the unstoppable onslaught of SUVs was well underway.
With these new plans, the SUV seems to be at the forefront, since it’s a formula that has proven so successful for Porsche, an automaker which claims it pays for development work on its sports cars by selling more practical SUVs, as well as the Panamera executive five-door. Plus, now the budget is twice the size, and Geely has already proven it is a company that helps without intruding too much - Volvo’s newfound prestige stands testament to that, so this time we’re really keeping an eye out for what they announce as it could actually work out.
Read our full review on the 2020 Lotus SUV.
Read our full review on the 2018 Lotus Exige Sport 410.
Read our full review on the 2017 Lotus Exige Sport 380.
Source: Automotive News