By on June 26, 2017

2016 Lotus Evora 400

Iconic British sportscar manufacturer Lotus may find a portion of its future production shifted to China under the ownership of its new parent company, Geely. Chinese billionaire and Geely chairman Li Shufu confirmed the possibility of some assembly taking place outside the United Kingdom during a press conference following the signing of the deal.

While this could stir outrage in some traditionalists, the Chinese company hasn’t mucked up things with Volvo yet and appears willing to apply a similar hands-off approach to the management of Lotus Cars. 

“This is just like what we have done with London Taxi Company, engineer in Britain, design in Britain, [build] in Britain,” Li explained. “We see no reason to move fifty years of combined experience to China — let them do what they do best — in Britain.”

Geely officially acquired a 51 percent stake in Lotus as well as 49.9 percent of Malaysian automaker Proton last week — both were previously majority-owned by Malaysia’s DRB-HICOM. Lotus had been struggling under Malaysian ownership for some time but announced a return to profitability earlier this year, due largely to the success of its Evora 400 and the more hardcore Evora Sport 410.

Lotus currently employs about 750 people in Norfolk. While some of them will continue assembly of the Evora, the automaker also has an updated Elise and Exige in the works. There have also been ruminations of a new crossover vehicle, something Geely is encouraging and plans to send to the U.S. market — along with the rest of the cars.

“Geely is fully committed to revitalizing the Lotus brand which will include new investment and a widened car range,” said Li. Specifying that the brand would benefit from future advancements in electrification and artificial intelligence, with those technologies likely stemming from China. However Mr. Li was unclear on the scope of the hypothetical Chinese production and how it might change the longstanding tradition of U.K. assembly further down the road.

[Source: Bloomberg] [Image: Lotus Cars]

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12 Comments on “Lotus Production Could Begin in China, Claims New Owner...”

  • avatar

    Of course future Lotus vehicles will be produced in China – first only a few models, then eventually all of them. Just like Volvo, incidentally, where models are either manufactured in China from the outset, or production is moved there (like with the S90). But it all makes sense, because Lotus, like Volvo, is now a CHINESE automaker.

  • avatar

    How long b4 they start buying American brands? I suspect FCA will be first.

  • avatar

    Trump will order Lotus to build their vehicles in U.S. And before a response is even made, will convene Rose Garden MAGA #Winning ceremony.

    Trumptards will rejoice in gleeful ignorance at Trump’s announcement of one-billionty nee Lotus and Coal jobs coming to various American Cities.

    Lotus will proceed to build vehicles in China,

    Trumptards will miss reality and facts and brag how Trump is smart businessman MAGAing.

    BaruthBros will orgasm.

    3D chess!

    • 0 avatar

      Finally Deadweight confessed who he voted for. At least he’s honest. Kudos.

      • 0 avatar

        You think I’d vote for either of the differently-named, but working-for-the-same-corporation/banks’ candidates that the oligopoly “two-party” system puts up as kabuki theater, dude?


        I write in Bill Hicks or George Carlin.

        Sometimes I write in Hunter S. Thompson, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, Frederic Bastiat, Alexis de Tocqueville, or Barry Sanders, just to mix it up.

        Red Pill, dude…Red Pill.

      • 0 avatar

        Are you aware of the existence of third-party and write-in candidates?

  • avatar

    Please tell Jack Baruth about this. He and Ronnie seem to be in love with Lotus, they must have watched too many old Roger Moore James Bond movies. Meanwhile, Jack still can’t give us a Stingray review.

    • 0 avatar

      I owned a Lotus before Sir Roger stood in for Sean Connery and haven’t watched anything from that franchise since Thunderball at the Royal Theater in the mid 1960s. If you want to discuss the shortcomings of British specialist automakers, I’ll be happy to be your huckleberry.

  • avatar


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