Published on April 25th, 2023 | by Subhash Nair


Why Lotus Is called Lotus Nyo In China: Exploring Malaysia’s Role In The Name

Why is Lotus known as Lotus Nyo in China?

Lotus, a renowned car brand, has been making waves in the automotive industry since its acquisition by Chinese Geely. While we were at the 2023 Shanghai Auto Show, we realised all the marketing material and even badging referred to Lotus as ‘Lotus Nyo’. The new Eletre was launched there as the Lotus Nyo Eletre, but it’s the same exact product. We wondered why that was.

To understand the reasoning behind this, it’s important to delve into Lotus’ history in China. When the Lotus Cars Limited company officially made its debut in China in 2011, it had to find a new name. This was because the China Youngman Automobile Group Co. had already registered the Lotus name. Youngman, the official Chinese importer of Lotus since 2006, had already established the brand in China.

Youngman later went on to sell the Proton Gen-2 as the Europestar RCR and as a ‘Linghua’ which is the Chinese word for Lotus. Youngman then exited the passenger car market, but back in 2011 Lotus decided to avoid any legal complications and to establish its own identity with the name Lu Te Si, a phonetic translation of the name Lotus into Chinese. They brought in the Exige and Elise to market under Lotus China.

Tiptronic Gearbox

The badge for the Chinese market was designed to say Lotus NYO, with NYO meaning “new” in Chinese. Therefore, in China, Lotus is also actually known in China as New Lotus and has been for more than a decade now.

Today, the brand is owned by Geely, a Chinese multinational automotive company that also owns Volvo, Polestar, Lynk & Co and of course part of Proton. With Geely’s backing, Lotus has thoroughly modernized its production and R&D facilities, refreshed its aging product line and is now set to make a big impact on the global automotive market especially with the Eletre – the brand’s first SUV.

Lotus Nyo Eletre rear

The Lotus Eletre is open for booking in Malaysia already for the fraction of the cost of the Lamborghini Urus. The Eletre is being made at a production facility in Wuhan and will likely be the company’s best selling vehicle ever.

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Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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