2017 Lotus Exige Sport 380Enlarge Photo
China’s Zhejiang Geely, the holding company that owns the Volvo, Lynk & Co and Geely car brands, entered a deal in May to acquire a 51 percent in stake Lotus from Malaysian conglomerate DRB-Hicom.
As part of the deal, Geely also agreed to acquire a 49.9 percent stake in Malaysian automaker Proton.
Geely Chairman Li Shufu has since revealed that he’s open to building Lotus cars in China, Bloomberg reports.
That doesn’t mean Geely wants to end production at Lotus’ home in Hethel, United Kingdom. A company spokesman told Eastern Daily Press that Geely wants to build cars closer to where they’re sold though it also doesn’t want to uproot a firm with more than 50 years of history in the U.K.
The spokesman also said that Geely was committed to revitalizing Lotus by expanding the lineup and turning it into a true global brand, just as the company has done with Volvo which it acquired from Ford in 2010.
“Geely is fully committed to revitalizing the Lotus brand which will include new investment and a widened car range,” the spokesman said.
What’s likely is that Geely will keep production of Lotus’ sports cars in the U.K. while starting production of more mainstream Lotus cars like a proposed SUV and perhaps even a sedan in China. Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales as early as 2015 stated that a Lotus SUV would be produced in China.