Lotus may have found its long-awaited saviour.
Chinese billionaire Li Shufu, owner of car maker Geely is reportedly considering investing almost $3 billion into the small sports car maker to restore it to its former glory. Geely took a 51 per cent stake in the brand in September 2017, to add to its automotive portfolio that already includes Volvo, Polestar and Lynk & Co.
Since taking control of Volvo, Shufu and Geely invested more than $10 billion upgrading the Swedish brand’s facilities and invested in new vehicle platforms for the company to underpin a new generation of cars.
Now it appears it wants to do the same for Lotus. According to a report from Bloomberg, Shufu wants to turn Lotus into a “leading global luxury brand” with a new range of models to expand on its current Elise, Exige and Evora line-up.
Bloomberg claims Shufu wants to expand Lotus’ Hethel facility and hire 200 engineers to give the company a fresh start. Beyond that there are plans for another factory in the UK to accommodate the expanded range.
However, there are no details yet on what new models will appear and what Geely has planned for Lotus’ current offerings.
But this isn’t the first rescue plan for Lotus. In 2010 former boss Dany Bahar announced plans to build five new models, reviving the famous Elan and Esprit nameplates, and turn Lotus into a true rival to Ferrari again. None of those cars were ever built and Bahar was sacked by the company in controversial circumstances.