A Reuters source suggested earlier this year that the Wuhan factory would initially focus on building luxury SUVs under the Lotus moniker, with the success of other luxury SUVs in the Chinese market from the likes of Porsche inspiring the decision.
Geely is looking to build more upmarket models, which will include the long-anticipated first SUV from Lotus and a huge ramp up in production for the brand which sold just 1,630 units last year. The number, although small, represented a record-breaking year for Lotus which had an 87 percent rise in business in Sweden, a 59 percent increase in sales in Japan, a 50 percent increase in Australia, and substantial sales increase in Italy and the Middle East too.
Lotus was acquired by Geely in 2017 following the Chinese company's purchase of a 49.9 percent stake in Lotus' previous owner Proton Holdings from Malaysian company DRB-Hicom. As part of the deal it also bought a 51 percent stake in Lotus from Proton. It bought Volvo from Ford back in 2010.