Back in May 2017, Chinese manufacturer and Volvo parent company Geely and announced that it was in the process of takeover talks with Malaysian company DRB-Hicom over a 49 percent stake in beleaguered car maker Proton and a 51 percent controlling share of iconic British sports car manufacturer Lotus.
The £51m deal to take over Lotus is set to be finalised during September, leaving Geely with the tough job n its hands of turning Lotus around. Industry experts believe Lotus could thrive under the ownership of the deep-pocketed Chinese company, though, because it is applying tight control over its brands. When it bought Volvo from Ford in an £800m deal back in 2010, Geely provided the necessary investments for the Swedish marque, but retained the engineering and design teams who continued doing what they do best. The same approach could be used for Lotus.
On the other hand, the British marque could also provide technology and engineering ideas that are crucial for the future of Geely’s brands, such as lightweight chassis and body designs, as well as electric powertrains. Lotus currently has a consulting business, helping larger manufacturers cut weight, tune suspensions and improve aerodynamics.
A logical next step in the development of the sports brand will be the introduction of an electric car – Lotus is no stranger to electric vehicle technology, as the company's engineers helped Tesla to build its very first car, the Roadster, back in 2008. 'In two or three years, battery cars will be much higher performing than they are currently because technology moves on,' said Lotus CEO Jean Marc Gales recently. 'It could be a really good thing to be the first one to do an electric car that doesn’t weigh two tons.'