Geely, the Chinese carmaker that owns Volvo, London Taxi Company and Lynk&Co, has completed its purchase of a majority stake in Lotus. It now owns a stake of 51 percent in the British sportscar maker, while 49 percent is held by Etika, a Malaysian automotive group.
The CEO of Lotus Jean-Marc Gales stays in charge of the company, while a number of appointments have been made to the Lotus board. Geely’s chief financial officer Daniel Donghui Li is board chairman, while chief technology officer Feng Qing Feng and vice president of international business Nathan Yu Ning also sit on the panel. There are also two board members from Etika.
Donghui Li said: “With the transaction completion we now look forward to working with our partners to develop the Lotus brand into a globally competitive brand and a well-recognised leader in the sportscar market. “We are extremely confident that Lotus will go above and beyond the expectations of the automotive industry and consumer base in the near future.”
Gales added: “Following a successful business turnaround, the Lotus brand has never been in a stronger position. We are producing the best cars in the company’s history and are currently developing next generation of sports luxury vehicles which will continue to demonstrate the Lotus brand values of class-leading vehicle dynamics, light weighting, styling and aerodynamics by leveraging Geely Holding’s global strengths and resources.”
In the first half of 2017, Lotus entered into a positive cash flow situation with sales rising by 10 percent year-on-year in the first half. A number of models, including the fastest Lotus yet, the Evora GT430, were also introduced.
The acquisition is part of a deal announced in May between Geely and Lotus' former owner, Proton. The deal means that alongside a majority stake in Lotus, Geely also owns a 49 percent stake in Proton. The remaining stake belongs to Malaysian automotive firm, DRB-Hicom. Alongside the announcement of the Lotus board members, Geely and DRB-Hicom also announced its Proton board. Most notable on this board are ex-Skoda boss Winfried Vahland and Yu Ning, Geely's international business boss, who are also part of the British brand's board.