Automotive

Published on June 8th, 2017 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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Lotus Cars will be a flying high soon with Geely funds

Geely has taken a majority stake in Lotus Cars, 51% to be clear and this will allow a revitalization the product lineup of this underfunded British sports car maker. Geely aims to “unleash the full potential of Lotus Cars and bring it into a new phase of development by expanding and accelerating the rolling out of new products and technologies.”

Lotus needs money to finance a new version of its core Elise sports car, which can trace its roots back to the first Elise launched in 1996. It also needs to expand its range beyond its three sports car models to possibly include the SUV that Lotus has said was in development but seems to have stalled.

Geely is perfectly positioned to help. It has revived Volvo Cars and owns the London Taxi Co., which has started production of a hybrid electric black cab that borrows technology used by Volvo. The Elise Sprint is part of Lotus’ limited lineup that could expand under Geely’s ownership.

Despite the vast differences between a six-seat London taxi and a two-seat Lotus sports car, the two share a goal in keeping weight as low as possible. To this end, Lotus cars and the new black cab are built on a bonded aluminum chassis.

Using Geely’s available part suppliers, technology and even some chassis elements would bring down the cost of developing a new platform for Lotus.

Like London Taxi Co., Lotus could tap Volvo’s supplier network for less money than Lotus could negotiate independently. Volvo’s four-cylinder and three-cylinder turbo engines could replace Lotus’ current Toyota supplied engines and Lotus could quickly electrify future vehicles by using Volvo’s parts suppliers for batteries, electric motors and e-axles. Lotus could also could use Volvo’s electrical platforms to incorporate the latest infotainment (center dashboard smart screen tablet) and safety technology.


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